High-rise building at Belsenpark
A City Grows Up Green in the Best Sense
  • Location
  • Project
    New construction of a high-rise complex
  • Procedure
    Realization competition (3rd place)
  • Awarding authority
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Visualizations
    caspar.; moka-studio
  • Technical building equipment, structure and sustainability
    Werner Sobek
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Fire Protection
    Corall Ingenieure

A vertical village is how we envisioned our entry for the 2021 realization competition hosted by PANDION AG and the City of Düsseldorf. Our concept, developed in collaboration with studio grüngrau, Werner Sobek, and Corall Ingenieure, was awarded 3rd place. It features a high-rise ensemble with a three-part base, a lush green center, and two towers rising above. This structure marks the end of Belsenpark and engages with the surrounding neighborhood. The two towers, one 17 stories and the other 22 stories, along with other nearby high-rises, create a distinctive cluster in the city’s skyline. This vertically structured quarter functions like a village, integrating a diverse mix of uses that enhance social sustainability.

Socially sustainable

The ground floors are designed for openness and public engagement, hosting local amenities, leisure activities, childcare, a service point, and a mobility hub. Above this, one of the six-story base buildings provides 42 state-subsidized apartments with access to the rooftop for urban gardening. The other two base buildings, linked by bridges, are outfitted with modern, flexible offices and co-working spaces. The high-rise towers house privately financed apartments, which benefit from unique, two-story communal gardens shared between five to six units each. At the center of the development, a central courtyard featuring circular meadows and playgrounds serves as a lively communal space for everyone in the Vertical Village.

Vertically green

We designed the high-rise at Belsenpark guided by the Cradle to Cradle principle, ensuring all materials contribute to a sustainable lifecycle. These materials are healthy, easy to dismantle, type-separable, and fully recyclable. The building’s structure features a material-optimized reinforced concrete skeleton, including cement-reduced and recycled concrete. Both the interior and exterior walls and ceilings are clad in wood, while parts of the facades are clad in locally sourced natural stone. Plant troughs around the base buildings provide greenery that improves the microclimate and provides natural privacy and sun protection. The high-rise facades feature abundant greenery across each floor, featuring a variety of shrubs, perennials, and various hanging and climbing plants for vibrant, year-round urban greenery.

Project team