New neighborhood: Pratteln has a master plan

Pratteln grows up. At the station, the new district "Bredella" will be built in stages over the next 20 years. The master plan and the turnaround project for the transformation of the industrial area into an urban district were created at the source of the Burckhardt + Partner architecture office. The design is characterized by the interaction of sophisticated urban and eclectic habitats, as well as the transformation of historic industrial halls. The project is expected to play a key role in the development of the entire station area.

Axonometry. Bredella AG (plans: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

Axonometry © Bredella AG (Plans: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

In Pratteln, north of the station, an industrial area of ​​87,000 m2 will become part of the city. This development is not totally surprising, as Pratteln is developing and the area around the station is already undergoing rapid changes. Previously, the area belonged to the two locksmiths Buss AG and Rohrbogen AG. Buss AG had been established there since 1893 and produced elements for the Mittlere Brücke in Basel. Today, the industry is withdrawing more and more from the region. Since 2001, the estate belongs to Bredalla AG. There are many different companies based on the site.

When a room was vacant in the area in 2015, the landowner contacted the Burckhardt + Partner Architects Office to use it in order to develop a prospective idea for the vacant building. Soon, the potential of the place was recognized and, from a study conducted for a single building, developed a comprehensive study for the future of the entire region.

See in the track. Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

View on the runway © Bredella AG (Visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

Thus, a new form of urbanity must be created in the agglomeration. The architects consider that such a perimeter is developed both as a unique opportunity to advance the development of Pratteln and to develop a global idea. Because one could think as if only one high-rise building was under construction, as is happening now in the region. This is not just a classic development, as the large area north of the tracks should serve as a link. Guidelines are developed for planning, which should be used for quality assurance in future planning.

The new zone can be divided into three different zones. On the one hand, there are buildings along the pathways in which to live and work. This also includes a large square of the station with bus terminal and public use on the ground floor. Most of it occupies the subdivision, which nestles in a U-shape around the third part in the middle of the area. It is characterized by two old industrial halls to preserve and a hotel tower located on the station square. The hotel could use existing rooms for events. For these, many uses are possible. From the concert hall to the school, everything is possible and it should – as in the field of Gundeldinger – different uses can also coexist.

The new Bahnhofstrasse becomes an axis of public life with uses for the public, such as shops and restaurants on the ground floor. Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

The new Bahnhofstrasse becomes an axis of public life with uses for the public, such as shops and restaurants on the ground floor. © Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

Parallel to the tracks, one block further back, the "new Bahnhofsstrasse" is supposed to be the main axis. Protected from bad weather, we should be able to walk in front of the shops. Otherwise, there is only one street in the car park, which crosses the Bahnhofsstrasse. From the train station square to the courts, there are several levels, from public to private. The same goes for the different qualities of outdoor spaces. After the streets, follow the walks for slow traffic. Neighborhoods designed differently form public living rooms. The walks are replaced by an additional refinement of the lanes, which serve as a network of finely meshed trails and finally follow the courtyards as a retreat for the residents. Unlike the Bahnhofstrasse and the development along the track, where no housing is proposed on the ground floor, it is necessary to serve the residential area, the mezzanine being mainly intended for residential use. In the meantime, a few quarterly uses such as a hairdresser, a daycare or a neighborhood meeting point need to be created.

New apartments should be affordable for the average. Cooperatives as real estate developers are not in the foreground because, according to the architects, they would already be planned at "Zentrale Pratteln". At the time of planning, approximately 65% ​​of the apartments, 13% of the offices, 12% of the hotels and restaurants and various other uses are planned.

Two green pedestrian and cycle routes allow residents to access the train station and the adjacent shopping area "Grüssen" © Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

Burckhardt + Partner is in the process of developing a catalog of building rules as a basis for the district plan, which will be submitted in about six months. This should help turn visions into architecture. In this way, the important principles should be defined as binding, while leaving sufficient room for maneuver for the design of the buildings. The visualizations presented do not represent any architecture yet, explain the architects. These represent rather a kind of test project for the elaboration of the construction rules and the visualization of the desired qualities. Dar.Die visualizations give an idea of ​​what it could look like. Burckhardt + Partners consider that it is important to go into detail to explain the architectural intent.

The area must be built in three stages. The first should begin in four years. The last one in 20 years will end. Until the beginning of the construction, many questions remain to be clarified between the community, the township, the owners and the architects. Who will build the future space? Competitions and direct contracts are possible. It is certain that a competition will be organized for the skyscraper and the design of the Bahhofsplatz.

The neighborhoods cross the region and serve the stay and the meeting in the public space. They line up around converted industrial halls and are used by them. Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

The neighborhoods cross the region and serve the stay and the meeting in the public space. © Bredella AG (visualization: Burckhardt + Partner AG)

The development of the quality of the agglomeration is one of the greatest challenges of our time. During the development of the project, the architects went in search of the ideals of the city. In the future, urban spaces of character will be created in the region of Bredella. In this case, a usage rate of two is desired. Burckhardt + Partner shows a way to create a wide variety of offers. The project already brings a great complexity. Good conditions to build a new piece of town in Pratteln. The future will show how much it is actually implemented at the end of it.

Text: Céline Dietziker / Architecture Basel