Old Mine Regeneration
Location: Saarland, Germany
Type: master plan, concept design, detail design, construction documents
Size: 125 hectare
Purpose: park, campus, sport, recreation
Client: IndustrieKultur Saar
Partners: BK Baukunst, CAD Werkstatt, Hegelmann&Dutt&Kist, Kuhn&Partner, Kohns Plan, Planungsteam PJG, Raumkonzept, WPW Ingenieure
Grube Reden is a former coal mine in Germany’s vast industrial zone. The site will attract diverse cultural and economic activities in an ambience inspired by the architecture of the mining landscape. In this project, Vista developed a wide range of work from master plan to detailed construction drawings.
The contaminated ground of the site was one of the key issues to be solved. In the master plan, specific landforms, structures and sub-surface conditions are used as a starting point for a broad range of new functions.
The following reconstructions brought distinguished contribution to this project:
The former industrial site is transformed into an urban campus with offices and cultural functions, organized around a central road and three squares; the central square is bounded by distinct old mine buildings, which are given new functions. The contaminated surface between the squares and infrastructure is covered by characteristic rock material, restricting direct contact between people and subsurface. The result is an arid garden landscape, where endangered insects and amphibians can flourish. A central water channel connects the dry rock garden of the pit heap with the green water garden on the lowest part of the site. A nine meter high gabion wall forms the transition between the water garden and the campus.
The water garden is built over the former rail yard of the mine. By sealing the subsurface with clay, a perfect condition was created to collect all the water from the 125 ha site and transform it into a new front garden for the campus. The garden forms a mosaic of wet biotopes defined by water depth and substrates. In the centre of the garden a long buffer basin and taxodium forest is created to store water from the site after heavy rains.
A special element of the garden is the geothermal canyon. Salty mine water still needs to be pimped from the depth of 800 meters to ensure active mines in the region remain dry. With the temperature of 30°C is used as a source of heat for the buildings on the campus. A geothermal plant was built to facilitate this. After heating the buildings the water is cooled by being fed through the canyon before running through the water garden and into a nearby natural creek.
The old slip basin was historically used to let sediment subside from the washing water of the coalmine. In the new plan it is partially transformed into a new lake that functions as a water reservoir for the water garden, and partially into a soil depot that will become a biomass production area. The bio fuel that comes from the site is used to future heat the buildings on the site during harsh winters. The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of the site as much as possible.
The 80-meter high pit heap in the south of the campus had dangerously steep slopes. By making a horizontal cut in the slope, the hill was stabilized. This incision is used to build a recreational route around the hill. By continuing the track around the lake, a diverse and exiting 4-kilometers skate track is created. The horizontal circuit is in great contrast with the hilly landscape around it and is a unique in the region.