Nordhausen, Altendorfer Kirchviertel

Ressource Fallow Land

For a long time, timber-framed houses defined the historical cityscape of Nordhausen. Despite multiple city fires, this architectural heritage persisted until the Allied bombing of Nordhausen in April 1945, which destroyed 75% of the medieval timber-framed city. While the city focused on new housing developments on the outskirts, primarily in the form of high-rise apartments, the restoration and densification of the remaining timber-framed old town fell behind. Despite numerous restoration successes, this urban development is still ongoing today.

The urban planning concept for the Altendorfer Kirchviertel climate district demonstrates how the development of old town brownfield sites can make a valuable contribution to reducing land and CO2 consumption while also serving as a real-world laboratory for different building cultures and a wide variety of rental housing options, from single-room apartments to alternative single-family homes. The slope of the area provides a reason for a diverse range of construction options, while the existing vacant buildings offer potential for reuse and recycling.

In 2021, the city of Nordhausen and the Nordhausen Municipal Housing Association held a competition to find an urban planning solution for high-rise densification that incorporates climate-friendly considerations for living, working, open space, mobility, energy, and supply at the neighborhood and building levels. Six teams, composed of architects, landscape architects, and technical building services planners, developed various urban planning concepts and building types for the site. The winning team was Kaden+ from Berlin, together with einenkel landscape architecture from Leipzig and Syrius Engineers from Berlin.

Visualisierung Altendorfer Kirchviertel_Grafik Kaden+
Their urban planning concept involves preserving two timber-framed houses and a building from the 1950s. They rezone the neighborhood entrance in their design and provide space for commercial uses. Graphic: Kaden+
Hangbebauung Altendorfer Kirchviertel_Kaden+
The neighborhood square is bounded by the slope buildings to the east and a corner building at the northwest corner. The terraced buildings on the slope serve as both slope stabilization and noise protection for the neighborhood. Graphic: Kaden+

The slope buildings are reserved for living, providing an alternative to single-family homes with generously sized units, primarily designed as maisonettes. The slope buildings will be constructed with a wood hybrid system, and extensively and intensively planted roofs will ensure a time-delayed runoff of rainwater. Building methods that allow for material separation and reuse will be used. Decentralized, self-sufficient energy supply is planned for the buildings, powered by renewable energy sources and controlled by heat pumps and earth storage. The goal of the neighborhood development is to achieve a CO2-neutral balance in operation.

The center of the neighborhood is designed to be largely car-free and crossed by green spaces. Rain gardens serve as retention areas, performing important microclimatic functions and facilitating planned rainwater management in the neighborhood. With a young, family-oriented audience in mind, the Kirchviertel is intended to become an inclusive neighborhood, providing people with different needs an independent lifestyle within a functioning community. The ground-level accessible housing units will be barrier-free.

With the Altendorfer Kirchviertel climate district concept, a socially diverse residential, working, and community space can emerge that not only provides its own energy but also considers open space and resource use in a climate-friendly way.


Altendorfer Kirchviertel
Altendorfer Kirchgasse 5-6
99734 Nordhausen


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