Open space design concept for Frankfurter Strasse, Bad Vilbel

Bad Vilbel, Germany, since 2018

Improvement of the attractiveness of Frankfurter Strasse, the historical shopping street in Bad Vilbel’s old town in preparation for the Hessentag 2020 state fair, comprehensive redevelopment and restructuring of spaces

  • Client: Stadt Bad Vilbel
  • Timeframe: since 2018
  • Use: Refurbishment, Straßenraumgestaltung, Freiraumstudie
New Piazza Grüner Weg, sketch
New Piazza Grüner Weg, sketch

Frankfurter Strasse is Bad Vilbel’s traditional shopping street. Over a length of approx. 950 meters it boasts small independent stores, branches of chains, health services and hospitality. It links the historical center with Marktplatz, the historical Town Hall and fountain museum in the north with the traffic circle at Kasseler Strasse in the south.

Our design concept adopts and continues the motif of the “new center” around Niddaplatz. It reveals valuable potential for space, linking it to form a series of independent plazas. New recreational areas with seating, water elements, and plants invite people to make active use of downtown. A new surface for sidewalks and plazas improves their usability and creates a clearly recognizable connection between public spaces. Fittings made of uniform materials and with a common formal idiom ensure a calm streetscape and produce a recognition effect. A new “function strip” adopts these fittings, offers seating, and arranges requisite infrastructure elements. It lies asymmetrically in the road and responds sensitively to existing peripheral uses and the available space.

Road with function strip
Road with function strip
New Piazza Baugasse, perspective sketch
New Piazza Baugasse, perspective sketch

In order to give pedestrians more room, Frankfurter Strasse from Ritterstrasse to Marktplatz will be turned into a traffic-calmed commercial area. Only trucks weighing up to 7.5 tons will be allowed access for necessary deliveries. At the plazas the surfacing will extend across the road, indicating that the recreation function has priority. The paths between Frankfurter Strasse and the path along the banks of the River Nidda will be redeveloped as shared spaces.

New Piazza Baugasse, overview sketch
New Piazza Baugasse, overview sketch
Paths to the River Nidda, sketch
Paths to the River Nidda, sketch
Start of Marktplatz – historical center, sketch
Start of Marktplatz – historical center, sketch