Pankower Tor, Berlin

Client: Krieger Handel SE
Cooperation: Nöfer Architekten Christoph Kohl Stadtplaner Architekten STADT + VERKEHR Buro Happold
Period: 2020-2021
Dimension: 27 ha
Location: Berlin-Pankow
Contest: 1. rank

A new urban quarter is to be created on the site of the former Pankow marshalling yard – the Pankower Tor. Hence a competitive urban planning-architectural workshop process for the development of a master plan started in 2020. The design of the planning team under the aegis of NÖFER Architekten and Christoph Kohl Stadtplaner Architekten was chosen as the winner after four rounds of processing.

Urbanity through diversity

The new Pankower Tor offers a wide variety of uses and housing types with the highest urban planning quality. New buildings are embedded in a network of generous open spaces with differentiated offers for all generations. On Berliner Straße, directly at the Pankow S+U railway station, the city square forms a new urban heart. This central meeting point connects two previously separate parts of Pankow and forms the prelude to the new quarter. On the south side of the square, the approximately 35-50 m high “Pankower Spitze” forms the urban high point of the quarter. This area of the new Pankower Tor is characterised by a variety of publicly accessible uses – offices, library and retail. To the northeast are 5- to 6-storey residential blocks with quiet courtyards and a new school building. The end of the quarter on Prenzlauer Promenade is formed by various office and commercial buildings.

Open space

The new Pankower Tor, as a sustainable and future-proof quarter, is structured by a robust open space network. The generous open spaces are developed for the new residents as well as for the adjacent neighbourhoods. In addition to a variety of recreational and exercise facilities and places to experience nature, there are ecologically valuable spaces for flora and fauna that are interconnected right down to the depths of the neighbourhood.
Conceptually, two spatial spans divide the area. On the western flank of the area, along the railway line and the Panketrail, the near-natural corridor is being created. As a biotope network, it links different habitats at different levels and creates a pedestrian connection to the green open spaces. In addition, the urban spange – the new Pankow Promenade – runs centrally along the building blocks. This urban pathway connects the town square, the commercial parts of the neighbourhood with the residential uses and the school location.

The intensity of use and design of the individual open space sections varies considerably, depending on the flora and fauna found and the demands on the individual open spaces. In addition, the extensive vegetation areas and a combination of underground and above-ground retention areas ensure careful handling of the rainwater that accumulates and, at the same time, a pleasant microclimate in the entire neighbourhood.