West Station Ratingen, 2002 - 2003
The attractive historic downtown and westend with around 16,000 inhabitants make up the outer layers of Ratingen, while the area along both sides of the railway make up the inner layer and define the urban grain. Here lies the heart of Ratingen's resources and the greatest opportunity to locate a new variety of commercial ventures near the center of town and to practice good form with regard to the existing traffic and urban fabric. The west train station will continue its role as a transportation hub but will also in the future serve as an attractive connection point between the inner and outer layers of town. In light of a lack of critical mass necessary to found a new traditional town borough, the objective became to incrementally improve the efficiency of the town's building blocks and continue to investigate possibilities for developing the attractive, stable "bridge" between the two town layers. The guiding principle of AS&P's plan was the sensible development of open areas along an urban spine. Along this spine, existing town building blocks were evaluated and further developed according to their recognizable identities. The somewhat unstable dismantling/reorganization of existing installations was to proceed in coherent steps. Five focal points of various importance and time-dependent needs could be identified: the town gardens, the Minoriten Alley, the greenbelt to the east of Bahnstrasse, the green open space on Dreieck Phillipstrasse and Wiesenstrasse, and the school park.