Nature sets an excellent example of smart recycling: There are no waste products and everything is recycled and fed back into a large cycle. This is the starting point of the scheme, which is based on the following beliefs: Smart recycling works with nature in the first place, not against it. The concept aims to integrate the natural potential of the site. Taking a holistic approach, the landfill is seen as part of a more complex material cycle within the landscape. Unlike before, it now grows symbiotically with the surrounding landscape, step by step, instead of as a hermetically separated entity. The adjacent nature reserve of the lower forest and its biological resources serve as a starting point for the gradual development of the area. The material cycles and processes of the forest ecosystem are integrated into new and traditional types of use on the landfill site. As it turns out, the green neighbour has many talents: it pollinates, disperses seeds, tidies up, cleans the air and the water, fights pests and much more. These ecosystem services are provided entirely free of charge. Not to use them would be anything but smart.
From residual materials to recyclable materials “We are surrounded by a man-made anthropogenic stock of over 50 billion tonnes of materials.” (German Federal Environmental Agency – UBA) Many of these raw materials are bound up within our cities and our infrastructure. Many of them are stored as ‘waste materials’ in our landfills. And this stock keeps growing by ten tonnes per person each year. It represents a huge potential to meet our future resource needs. In the future, we will need to become aware of this ‘treasure’ and intelligently reintegrate it into new recyclable material cycles. The resource campus in Minden-Lübbecke provides an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of this raw material stock. Our concept shows how this can be achieved at different scales, in a symbiosis between primary and secondary raw materials and closely linked to nature. The landfill site becomes an active cultural landscape that can be a provider of resources, showing how the landscape, raw materials and nature can all be jointly managed within a dynamic transformation process, while at the same time increasing biodiversity. In the process, residual materials become recyclable materials and, along with the raw materials themselves, the location is upgraded and reintegrated into the environment as a public space. The innovation campus – research, experience, learn Urban development – upgrading and reintegration The building complex comprises of the innovation centre, workshop and recycling road, forming a ‘campus square’ that faces the landfill. As a new organisational centre, it acts as a hub and orientation point on the site. The buildings are shaped like a bracket, formed by the ‘cells’ of the landscape and corresponding with them. In the heterogeneous environment of buildings with different uses and from different eras, the autonomous structure creates a new point of identification, while adding carefully and sustainably to the stock. All the new buildings are unobtrusive in terms of structure and act as mediators between the existing buildings, the people who work there and the general public.
A flexible use approach applies to all the buildings, which follow a clear, basic grid principle. A ‘classic’ modular character has been intentionally avoided. in favour of developing an ‘organic campus’. The buildings are available for a variety of uses, conversion and new uses. Along with the current room layout, they define the state of the current needs but are also are constructed in such a way as to allow flexible conversion without generating waste.