Strasbourg, France - Kelh, Germany

Perspectives over the Rhine



Restricted urban competition


20 hectares


Ville de Kelh, Com. Urb. De Strasbourg




Constest: Finalist

Renaturalize the river boundaries on both sides to improve the ecosystem and at the same time reconnect the two cities through public space.

The site of the contest are the areas formerly occupied by the customs of the cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kehl (Germany), currently in disuse. The proposal was to give the area an urban and landscape treatment that would unite them. The connecting link has always been the river Rhine, which functions as the border of the two countries.

The proposal has two axes: the first one is the redevelopment of the custom zones and the creation of a series of public spaces that unify these two cities. The second axis is the restoration of the river, redesigning its nearby spaces allowing the creation of a new relationship with water at the riverbank level.

The Rhine is the most important fluvial artery because of the density of its navigation. Thanks to that the Rhine is one of the most densely populated and industrialized zones which has brought great economic development. But from the ecological point of view, the ecological continuity of its margins has been quite damaged. What has been pursued is to give the river more space, by a topographic intervention in its margins to help the installation of riverside vegetation that helps significantly to improve the existing ecosystem.

The project complements the existing landscape structure. By giving a real dimension to the natural banks (about 30 m on both sides of the river), the ecological corridor is restored at the crossroads of the new district. The components of this landscape structure are the same ones that define the Rhine: the river meadows along the banks, the linear forests following the old hydrological footprints and the terraces of the infrastructures. These elements continue in the heart of the neighborhood with forest plantations that link all these elements with the urban fabric

Widen the river allow us to increase the interaction with the floods. This is the previous action to a real restoration of the river recreating the north-south natural continuity of the Rhine Valley. The water management is made through a small planted canals and streets system that structure the new urban spaces in touch with the infrastructures. The canals manage, clean and infiltrate the runoffs of the public spaces, buildings, and communication roads in a differentiated way.

The public spaces are connected with different paths: wide boulevards, planted streets, permitting that each way of movement, connect on riverside with the other.
The paths along the Rhine are possible thanks to small interventions in the riversides creating paths some of them floodable in case of a perturbation (flood). This new riverside offers different points of view depending on its relationship or closeness with the water and crate diverse atmospheres depending of the vegetation (sugarcane, sauces, poplars, ...)

The excavation of the riversides and underground parking lots is compensated by the embankments of the new infrastructure and the general improvement of the topography of the Kaserne sector in Kehl.



Mar Armengol

Sergio Lobato

Albert Castejón