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Clinical Center Höchst

Urban development draft, Clinical Center, Housing
District: Completed:

Project description

Reason for planning
Klinikum Höchst intends to build a new compact hospital on a site neighboring its current premises; the new edifice will replace the existing 14-storey main building dating from the 1960s. The “Victor Gollancz” senior citizens’ home, a 12-story residential high-rise, which used to be situated on the new building site, has been demolished. Following completion of the new complex and once the high-rise currently containing the wards has been vacated land on the present hospital grounds will be free to be put to new uses. In the process of the construction work the triangular car park adjacent to the building site will likewise be rezoned.

Development district
The zone in question is situated in the north of Frankfurt’s Höchst district where the latter abuts with Unterliederbach. It spans the current Klinikum Höchst complex with the adjacent site for the new building between Windhorststrasse and the Mitscherlich building and includes the car park in front of the erstwhile McNair barracks building.

Planning objectives
A due process was performed to devise the plan for urban structuring and development. The feasibility of linking of closing the road network was examined by means of a traffic survey and incorporated in the planning. The freed-up areas in the southern section of the hospital grounds are earmarked for housing developments in order to strengthen the residential segment of the Höchst district. The objective: to enhance Höchst as a residential location and respond to the increasing demand for living space by providing high-quality residential development zones. A special area between Gotenstrasse and Peter Fischer Allee has been set aside in order to ensure the new hospital complex’s future viability and to safeguard the hospital’s development potential. This site will house the new hospital building along with an extension area for the hospital and nearby facilities. The triangular car park opposite the former McNair building means there is space to develop a hospital administration building together with the typical central facilities (shops, service providers, offices etc.) and a prestigious public plaza that will mark the center of the quarter. A landscaped public park preserves the two existing connecting parks with their large tree population. The remaining local trees were factored into the planning where possible.

Project progress
On July 1, 2010 (section 8365), Frankfurt’s City Council passed the resolution to establish “Development plan no. 879 - Nördlich Hospitalstrasse - Klinikum Höchst”. A masterplan was created as a basis from which to evolve the development plan procedure. An initial traffic survey conducted by the planners at AS&P was completed in February 2011. After comparing a range of different access options for the hospital complex the potential extension of Windthorststrasse as far as Liebknechtsstrasse proved to be the preferred option. The planned road with bidirectional traffic lanes will be a meaningful addition to the existing road network as it forges a more direct link for individual traffic flows and as a result relieves the additional strain on existing residential areas. At the Lindenviertel community center on March 2, 2011 citizens were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the planning and discuss it. Members of the local population flocked to the meeting. The hospital’s targets as well as the aims and objectives of the development plan and the result of the traffic survey were presented to the interested citizens present and a lively discussion followed.

Accordingly, the scope of the traffic survey was extended and the survey report revised. This resulted in the proposal to bridge another gap in the road network by extending Zuckschwerdtstrasse to the north. The urban development plans were fine-tuned and the final proposal duly presented to the authorities and the public in spring 2012. The City Planning Department evaluated the results and the wording for the municipal authority’s development plan resolution was finalized. In its meeting on December 13, 2012, the City Council passed the resolution for the creation of a development plan (section 2513), which was submitted to Darmstadt Regional Council for approval in early 2013.

Alongside the procedure for development plan no. 879 (Nördlich Hospitalstrasse – Klinikum Höchst), between the end of 2011 and mid-2012 an expert survey was carried out to ensure the newly planned residential area was of the requisite quality. Six firms were invited to present conceptual proposals as well as preliminary ideas for the architectural design of the buildings. Another topic of investigation was how the workshop building and the small historical building on Gotenstrasse (currently used as a library) can best be included in the planning process going forward. Suggestions even foresaw the transformation of the library into a hospitality outlet and the conversion of the workshop into a child daycare facility.

In February 2012, the findings of the expert survey were presented to a jury, which bestowed awards on the best entries.

The first prize went to the proposal submitted by a consortium of Frankfurt firms, Jourdan + Müller PAS and BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten. The proposal stands out for its skillful integration of the glorious groups of existing trees in the development concept. Moreover, thanks to their matching height and length, the new buildings will blend in well with existing edifices in the neighborhood. The proposal covers different types of buildings and apartments embellished by a row of facades that is as eye-catching as it is rich in contrast.

The two winning firms fine-tuned their proposal in the course of the year. The findings of the revised winning entry and the submissions by the other parties to the jury of experts were presented to the public in Bolongaropalast in early June 2012 by way of an information event and an exhibition.