New atrium takes shape

New atrium takes shape

For many visitors to bamberg, the view of the atrium is one of their first impressions after getting off the train. Those who already live here, however, could only shake their heads for years over the almost empty mammoth building in a prominent location. That changed eleven months ago. With the plans for the "new atrium the hope for a revival of the giant real estate came back.

After years of standstill, the new owner, the eyemaxx group, had created a "wonderful ray of hope in the railroad station sky," and not just for the mayor of the city of andreas stark (SPD) shown. Architect matthias bornhofen presented some surprising changes for the 60-million-euro project at an early stage. The building is to be slimmed down by 14 meters by removing one of the connecting grids. Green oases are to be created on the then much wider sidewalk. Bornhofen also wants to "remove the storied structures and make the building more open".

He was able to present the first plans to the urban design advisory board last september. This independent panel of experts, known for its critical eye, praised the plans of the 34-year-old architect. Nevertheless, he found a few points that require further revision and discussion. This was still the case after the revision, which bornhofen recently presented to the urban design advisory board. Among other things, the 34-year-old described the new forecourts for the ground-floor stores, which are to lead over the wider sidewalk to green strips with multiple uses – they should also accommodate additional bicycle parking spaces. The buses will be located next to it.

The hitherto known utilization concept has changed in one respect. The 70 service apartments initially planned have been dropped, but 3000 square meters of office space are now to be used over two floors. Further planned are stores and gastronomy on the first floor (7000 square meters), a rough fitness studio and a hotel with 160 rooms – which according to bornhofen’s designs will be oriented towards green inner courtyards. The cinema will remain, but will be renovated and in the future will also have a terrace with gastronomic use.

The opening is scheduled for the end of 2020

"We would still like to see a comparison of what is old and what is new?", munich architecture professor lydia haack made it clear on behalf of the urban design advisory board. The committee wanted to integrate the staircase and bicycle parking spaces into the building, but the open spaces still seem too dense to them, and the interaction of pedestrians, parked cyclists and bus passengers could potentially become problematic. Haack also referred to the parking garage, which "looks like a mountain silhouette emerges when the atrium slims down at the top. He also said he would like to see an overall concept that also includes the station forecourt, and a city model that would make the project more vivid in its interaction with the rest of the cityscape. But all in all, haack emphasized: "you are on the right track."

Daniela reinfelder (bub) made it clear that work on the atrium would have to move forward quickly, because the next rough construction sites at the train station and pfisterbrucke were already in sight. The railroad will not tackle the station forecourt before the four-track expansion of the railroad line – which will take until 2030. For heinz kuntke (SPD), the investors in the atrium needed to know "where the journey is going, we must not overtax them and we must not overburden the project. Peter neller (CSU) also wanted to give investors the opportunity "to realize this as soon as possible". Reinfelder was confident: "it’s just a matter of refinements, which we trust the architect to make." As building consultant thomas beese explained, an additional meeting of the building senate is to be held as early as the 24. The project-related development plan for the new atrium will be discussed on july.

"In order to meet certain deadlines, it is important to get the development plan underway", says matthias bornhofen. "After that, of course, there are still many details to be clarified and discussed." The architect is sticking to the schedule, according to which the atrium can be opened at the end of 2020. If bornhofen has his way, work can begin at the beginning of the year.

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