A mixed-use project that combines apartments, a media education and training institute, a market, and a café was recently awarded a €10,000 prize by ULI Germany. Zentralmassiv was recognised for its contribution to regeneration and sustainability in Germany through exemplary design, architecture, and public/private partnership.
Located in the city of Bochum in the Ruhr region of western Germany, Zentralmassiv received the award at ULI Germany’s Urban Leader Summit in June. Designed by Stark Design, Zentralmassiv is an adaptive use project that repurposes an old bunker at Springer Square, a central gathering place in Bochum. Jurors praised the project for serving as a catalyst to strengthen an area in need of revitalisation.
“You can see the passion from the side of the city, the owner, and the architect in this exemplary cooperation,” said juror Stephanie Baden, director of marketing and communications at Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen. “The involvement of many local residents during the refurbishment of the square and of the bunker with its integrated creative university created a gathering place and a space of well-being in Bochum, which previously stood for the exact opposite.”
Zentralmassiv is home to the Bochum campus of the SAE Institute, which offers training in web development, sound engineering, multimedia journalism, filmmaking, and other media arts. According to the institute’s website, creative industries in the Ruhr region are expected to grow significantly. Bochum’s cost of living is lower than that in larger cities, offering affordable options for students and young professionals. The project also brought new confidence to the surrounding neighbourhood and motivated adjacent property owners to upgrade their buildings.
“Zentralmassiv in Bochum has succeeded in a particularly good way to return urbanity to a place which was shunned by the general population,” said Dr. Ralf Schneider, a juror and group head of development at CA Immobilien Anlagen AG. “What is impressive is the vivid and sustainable mixed-use, tailored offering for the young and the old, collaboration between the municipality and private investors, and strong initiative shown by local residents.”
This article was written by Peter Koziel, Programmes and Communication Manager at ULI Germany.