Felixx + De Zwarte Hond has won the competition for the strategic transformation of Alpen. Alpen is a municipality in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. A closed international competition was organized for the redevelopment of the center. During three months, 6 shortlisted teams have been working in a participatory way. At several workshops, intermediate proposals were presented to the jury, policymakers and citizens.
Unlike many other villages, Alpen has a vibrant business community. It is very well connected to main infrastructures and situated in a beautiful rural environment. To fight the challenges of rural shrinkage, these qualities have to be sustained in order to provide qualitative living conditions, motivating young families to settle in Alpen. The proposed strategy by Felixx + De Zwarte Hond aims to preserve the current economic conditions, strengthen the social facilities and improve the ecological performance of the village.
They moved the focus of the project from the center to the entire community: not one compact transformation, but a large set of acupunctural interventions and measures. Bundled into several ‘projects’, these interventions create a characteristic village road, a multigenerational facilities belt, and a new community center. The different parking lots are gradually transformed into multifunctional parking squares. The developed toolbox might be exemplary for other villages, fighting challenges of rural shrinkage.
The team of Felixx and DeZwarteHond will develop the strategy further within a participatory process, elaborating the subprojects to be realized in different stages.
The other selected teams were Greenbox Landschaftsarchitekten, Gnüchtel Triebswetter Landschaftsarchitekten, KLA kiparlandschaftsarchitekten, wbp Landschaftsarchitekten, Karres en Brands landschapsarchitecten.