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South of Niederräder Landstrasse

Urban development draft
District: Local district:
Size of area:
40 ha Plangebiet - davon 20 ha Sport-Akademie und 18 ha öffentliche Grünfläche

Project description

Reason for planning
Following an in-depth analysis to investigate potential locations for a new German Football Association (DFB) Sports Academy, the existing horseracing arena on the edge of Frankfurt’s Niederrad district was found to enable an ideal solution. The City of Frankfurt now intends to redevelop the grounds into a public park in the north and the site of a Sports Academy. The City has duly cancelled its contracts with Hippodrom GmbH and nullified existing sublease agreements with effect from December 31, 2015.On October 16, 2014 the City Council adopted the resolution to initiate development planning procedures, draw up a leasehold contract with the DFB, and acquire the shares in Hippodrom GmbH.

Development district 
The site in question comprises approx. 40 hectares. Of these, 15 hectares plus an additional optional plot of five hectares have been earmarked for the Sports Academy. In the north there are plans to turn a total of 18 hectares including the existing protective forest into a new public (civic) park. From downtown, the site is accessed via Schwarzwaldstrasse and Kennedyallee. Public transport links include the streetcar, LRT and busses; it takes around 15 minutes to get to Frankfurt’s main train station and Frankfurt Airport. 

Planning objectives
The aim of Legal Zoning Plan no. 916 is to create the legal basis for the orderly urban development that will culminate in establishing a Sports Academy in the south of the zone and  a new public park with recreational facilities in the north, taking the prevailing ecological conditions into consideration. The park will be planned in close consultation with its future users. With the participation procedures relating to the park Bürgerpark Süd having taken place, the results of the events are online.

Project Progress
As early as in spring 2014 the City of Frankfurt and the DFB agreed to use the site identified in a location analysis (namely the horse-racing grounds), in the long term for a Sports Academy. In fall 2014 the City Council, among other things, adopted the resolution to establish Legal Zoning Plan no. 916. Consequently, the DFB organized a bid procedure in agreement with the City of Frankfurt. A t the same time a public petition was filed in favor of a referendum to prevent the demolition of the racetrack arena, whereby the public vote threw out the motion on June 21, 2015.
The draft submitted by the first prize winner (kadawittfeldarchitektur, Aachen) and the public park (and the future users have played an active role in designing it) were taken as the basic development concept for the Legal Zoning Plan. The public authorities and the general public were involved at an early stage in the proceedings, in 2015. 
To swiftly lay the legal basis for planning, the development plan proposal no. 916 “Sport-Akademie – Südlich Niederräder Landstraße” was presented to the public in the period from January 18 to February 20, 2017. Accordingly, both the public and the authorities were duly given the opportunity to become involved in the planning. 
With publication in the official gazette of the city of Frankfurt am Main on 18.12.2018 the development plan came into force.

More information

Sport Academy competition

In giving the entire zone a contemporary and commercially viable use, one section was offered to the German Football Association (DFB), which was seeking a suitable location for its new Football Academy in Frankfurt.

The City of Frankfurt believes that establishing a Sports Academy will impact favorably on urban development, as this way the racetrack grounds can be put to the best economic use. During the first expansion phase, the DFB will dedicate approx. 15 hectares of the land to the academy; the zone covers 40 hectares in total. In the final expansion phase the DFB will have approx. 20 hectares overall at its disposal.

A non-public two-phase competition was organized in consu
ltation with the City of Frankfurt and the DFB. The first competition phase opened in November 2014, with 30 architecture firms invited to take part. In February 2015, ten draft proposals were selected for the second stage of the competition; of the revised versions of entries to the first stage, in June that submitted by the Aachen-based firm “kadawittfeldarchitektur” emerged as the winning entry for the construction of the Sports Academy. The firm’s revised submission for the DFB Academy now forms the basis for the development plan proposal. One key specification in the competition was that plans would emulate the existing urban layout, which necessitated grouping developments in the west and south of the site along Schwarzwaldstrasse and Rennbahnstrasse. In the east and north. the Sports Academy’s outdoor facilities and training pitches will form a large expanse of greenery. Together with the protective forest in the east and the public park in the north, this section can in future be experienced as a continuous stretch of countryside extending as far as Frankfurt’s municipal forest.

1st prize: kadawittfeldarchitektur GmbH, Aachen, © kadawittfeldarchitektur

  • 1st prize:
    kadawittfeldarchitektur GmbH, Aachen with its design of a large ensemble of buildings and sports fields extending along one continuous central axis, namely the “sports boulevard”.
  • 2nd prize
    MGF Architekten GmbH, Mahler Günster Fuchs, Stuttgart with its proposal for an elongated building complex with a two-storey podium and individual buildings jutting out from it.
  • 3rd prize
    Schulz & Schulz Architekten GmbH, Leipzig with its design for a large four-storey structure with a continuous height of 12 meters.