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Redesign of Buchrainplatz

Topic:
Public space
District: Completed:
2015

Project description

Reason for planning
Prior to the redesign, both the “Buchrainplatz” street-car stop and Offenbacher Landstrasse, which surrounded the center of the plaza, dominated the layout of Buchrainplatz functionally speaking. The amount of space available to pedestrians is at present restricted to the approx. 300-square-meter-large Oberrad market square. Given that the square already fulfills numerous functions (e.g., the weekly market, club celebrations, and the Christmas market), it is already a lively district focal point.

Planning district
The plaza, which has now been redesigned, is located in the center of the district of Oberrad. In addition to the Oberrad market proper, it also includes the central section of Offenbacher Landstrasse, the western section of Wasserhofstrasse, and the intersections with Buchrainstrasse, Wehrstrasse, and De Neufville Strasse.

Planning objective
The objective was to upgrade Buchrainplatz. Fundamentally rerouting the traffic on Offenbacher Landstrasse along the west and south of the plaza in both directions freed up space which can then be used to extend the square. The measure has clearly enhanced the public space, created greater scope for pedestrians (increasing pedestrian safety) and a platform for events in the district. The plaza is the heart of things, with its new recreational areas and (potentially multipurpose) center; its redesign has helped ensure the area is more attractive in terms of appearance, function, and quality.
The greenery, which used to be in the southwest of the plaza, has been given clear borders and upgraded.
Towards its northern edge a pergola has given the plaza a new leading edge.

Project progress
The City Council approved the inclusion of Buchrainplatz in the “Schöneres Frankfurt” (Making Frankfurt More Attractive) investment program in the year 2000.
During meetings of working panels and representatives of the Local Consultative Council, variations and planning suggestions were discussed and presented at a public meeting in May 2009.
On conclusion of the work by the Municipal Planning Dept. and the City Council’s approval of the preliminary planning in March 2009, companies Zahn Architekten und Stadtplaner and Ingenieurbüro Sehlhoff GmbH were tasked with further design and technical planning.
In May 2010 the plans were presented to the Planning, Building and Housing Construction Committee and as such the financial framework of the project set.
Construction work began in October 2010.

The work was divided into three construction phases (chapter “Construction Phases”). After a longer pause in construction work and the winter idle time at the turn of the year (2012/2013), the work was commissioned in summer 2013.

The plaza was inaugurated with a ceremony on July 9, 2013.




More informations

Planning

Buchrainplatz - Oberräder Markt, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

In accordance with the legally applicable development plan no. 418 (Wehrstrasse Buchrainplatz), the Offenbacher Landstrasse in the section at Buchrainplatz now routes traffic in both directions on the western and southern sides of the plaza.

Buchrainplatz was redesigned as a significant barrier-free public space in line with the objectives of the “Schöneres Frankfurt” (Making Frankfurt More Attractive) development program.


The road space thus freed up became part of what was the plaza. As a result, the pedestrian area has been extended as far as the streetcar stop. A new development now borders the northeast periphery of the plaza.

The boundaries of the existing areas of greenery in the southwest section of the plaza were redrawn and the greenery renewed and upgraded. The objective behind the measures: to focus the area generally such as to give it a more attractive appearance, function and quality for users, while enhancing the quality of life for those living in the immediate vicinity and the residents of the district of Oberrad.

Extending as far as the “Buchrainplatz” streetcar stop, the plaza now provides much greater space and can accommodate functions such as a weekly market. A quiet area was created in the northeast corner of the plaza; existing elements such as the listed Oberrad gardeners’ pump form an integral part of it. On the northeast edge, a pergola will form the otherwise absent perimeter and level out different surfaces. Wasserhofstrasse is now a one-way street with traffic routed eastward.

A ramp along the eastern edge of the plaza and a single flight of steps integrated into the pergola offset the difference in the levels of Wasserhofstrasse and the Oberrad market.
The layout of southwest plaza was changed by replacing trees as well as lawns, hedges and rosebushes. A row of trees opposite the streetcar stop designates the plaza’s perimeter.

The old toilet facilities were demolished and replaced by a new compact structure that is part of the market place in terms of location and function (in direct vicinity of the streetcar stop - see plans by Sehlhoff). The new facility is expected to be installed in 2014 (for detailed information please see page on Construction Phases). 

There will be safe pedestrian crossings at the intersection between Offenbacher Landstrasse and Wehrstrasse on the southern edge of the plaza. The footpath across the central area of greenery has been removed.

Two taxi stops were installed on the southern edge of the plaza.
The number of taxi ranks will be reduced and moved to the southern edge of the plaza.
On Offenbacher Landstrasse there will be dedicated cycle lanes. Cyclists coming from Wasserhofstrasse will be directed along a separate cycle path in the pedestrian area to reach the safe crossing across Wehrstrasse.
The “Buchrainplatz” public transportation stop was maintained and enhanced by a passenger information system. Platforms and sheltering were replaced and the track area paved.


Construction Phases

Overall the project was completed in three phases. Upon completion of the makeover a new toilet facility will be separately installed in 2014.


First construction phase

Buchrainplatz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The first construction phase began in October 2010 with the introduction of two-way traffic on the northeast of Offenbacher Landstrasse and a one-way street on Wasserhofstrasse. The taxi ranks on the west of Wehrstrasse were moved and the disabled parking space by Oberrad market moved to eastern side of Offenbacher Landstrasse.

Extensive work on gas and water pipes as well as street lighting cables, moving overhead cable masts, renewing the streetcar track bed, and building roads and paths to the southwest of Offenbacher Landstrasse were focal points of the first stage.
Introducing two-way traffic on the newly constructed southwest section of Offenbacher Landstrasse marked the conclusion of the first construction phase.

Timeframe: The construction phase was completed in July 2011.

Second construction phase

The second construction phase concentrated on work on the future center of the plaza, such as digging up the old roads, laying cables for the traffic lights and street lighting, and building roads and paths at the intersections with Wehrstrasse and De Neufville Strasse, the latter as the work laying cables at De-Neufville-Strasse was finally completed.

Timeframe: July 2011 until September 2011.
 

Third construction phase

The work to be carried out in the third construction phase heavily depends on the weather, especially during the winter months.
Construction work in the third phase commenced in October
2011 with the demolition of the old supporting wall and construction of a new one and a pergola in the north of the plaza, with a tower crane erected for the purpose.
At the same time the platforms of the streetcar stop were being renewed. The stop was moved to Offenbacher Landstraße for the duration of the work. The new stop was opened on August 8, 2012.
As a result of structural problems with the streetcar tracks the work carried out by NRM Netzdienste Rhein Main (responsible for maintaining the distribution network of Mainova energy supplier) on the gas and potable water network extended over a longer period of time.
In December 2011 the triangular area in the south was leveled, topsoil was applied to the surface and the trees envisaged in the planning planted along the road. In spring 2012 grass seed was put down and the rosebushes and hedges planted.
Three subsurface bottle banks were installed between the park and the taxi rank and are now in operation.

In July 2012 the pergola was completed and a row of trees planted on the western edge of the market square. After that the eastern section of the plaza was leveled and the market area paved. Paving work on temporarily graveled sections was completed between April and June 2013. The new furniture includes the renovated gardener’s pump, several benches, garbage cans and pergola lighting. General lighting on the plaza has also been installed.

The new traffic lights and pedestrian crossings were put into operation on August 2, 2012. All crossings are fitted with haptic signage for visually impaired people (grooves and studs in the pavement).


The new toilet facilities

The new toilet facilities will be independently installed and operated by the municipal properties office (public toilets section).