GROUP A, together with landscape architects Karres en Brands and traffic planners Urban Sense, has received an honourary mention for the urban plan VALLON ouVERT in Dudelange, Luxembourg. The three offices teamed up for a European Tender, and were selected as one of the twelve teams to propose a design. Of these twelve, three participants received an honourable mention, including the team GROUP A, Karres en Brands and Urban Sense. The jury praised the original concept behind the urban plan, as well as the attention paid to the location and its identity.
The urban plan, a redevelopment of a former industrial site in the southern part of the city, covers an area of 39 ha. For this site, until recently home to the cities’ steelworks, a new programme was to be found. The demise of the steelworks has had great psychological and physical consequences for the city. It has not only resulted in a weakening of Dudelanges’ urban identity, but also resulted in the emergence of a functionless and empty site, right within the urban tissue. The goal of the urban plan was to create unity and identity for Dudelange.
The site, situated in a valley, holds a central position within the southern part of the city. At the same time, however, it acts as a physical barrier between a number of existing residential areas, separating them from each other and from the city centre. The urban plan developed by GROUP A, Karres en Brands and Urban Sense offers an opportunity to connect these neighbourhoods with each other, and to strengthen the relationship between the site and the city centre.
The plan seeks to create an open, green ‘heart’ at the centre of the valley. At the edges, the valley can be used to expand the surrounding residential areas. These neighbourhoods will ‘spill over’ into the valley whilst retaining their specific morphology, thus gaining impetus as well as a stronger interrelationship. Simultaneously, the valley also ‘spills over’ into these neighbourhoods; by means of a well planned landscape design the valley itself extends into the residential areas.
The ‘heart’ of the valley will have an open and accessible character, in the form of a large landscaped area surrounding a restored waterway. This area provides for a diverse program of recreational functions, partially housed in the industrial heritage on the site. The recreational programme ensures that the valley will not only provides benefits to its immediate environment, but will appeal to people from all of Dudelange and the surrounding region. Simultaneously, by re-creating the green ‘heart’ of the valley, with its industrial heritage, for recreation and leisure, both the site and Dudelange as a whole will gain a new identity. The city, which was known mainly because of its’ steelworks, could gain new fame through the open, accessible and attractive valley, where historic industry offers new opportunities for leisure.