According to plans by Eike Becker_Architekten, a mixed quarter of living, working and leisure will be built around the Kaiserlei roundabout in Offenbach by 2022. A hotel, a swimming pool, a fitness centre, retail outlets, manufactories and a day-care centre will ensure a high quality of life in the district. The two former office towers of the Siemens Power Plant Division, which will be completely gutted and converted into modern apartments according to the Vertical Village concept, are an impressive eye-catcher of the quarter. There are 6 to 7-storey residential buildings grouped around the two Vertical Village Towers. The quarter also sets standards from an ecological point of view: a geothermal plant will supply around 70 percent of the area with CO2-neutral heat. Photovoltaics and solar thermal energy complete the renewable energy mix of the project. The approximately 3.5-hectare property is located directly on the city border to Frankfurt. The Frankfurt city centre, the new ECB and the airport can all be reached within a few minutes by car or public transport. A total of around 1,100 rental apartments will be built in Kaiserlei Quartier, which will relieve the extremely tense housing market in the banking metropolis considerably.
Among architects and project developers, neighbourhood development is the ultimate discipline. Because it is small-scale urban planning. Everything that is important in the urban development of a city must also be taken into account here. In addition, neighbourhoods are ideal for testing innovative solutions to future issues on a small scale. For example, participation, CO2-free energy supply, smart city, e-mobility or sharing economy. Because a neighbourhood is more than the sum of its parts, all levels must mesh perfectly: in order to provide a common home for the entire diversity of society, housing areas and types must appeal to all age groups, strata and nationalities. At the same time, there is a need for attractive commercial concepts that not only cover the daily needs of those living there, but also attract people from outside into the neighbourhood. There must be restaurants and cafés, leisure activities and playgrounds where children of different backgrounds learn from an early age that origin does not matter. Young and old, living and working, rich and poor, calm and liveliness, tradition and modernity must have a space next to each other. Ordered, but not too ordered. This is the formula that makes neighbourhoods worth living in – and our cities a bit better.