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Design Portfolio

Karoline Kostka landscape architecture and environmental planning

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Index References

Design Portfolio 1- 3

No. urban Landscape as open public space

4- 6

No. Landscape Architecture and environmental planning as urban design strategy

7- 8

No. territorial research as urban Landscape understanding


Supplementary plaza sequence generating urban public space. Open Plaza


Intertwining public park and temporary school. Urban oasis


Transfoming waste river space. Greenway corridor.


Strategic hollow as a reverse archeology. Interim strategy


Moss.Return to the urban context. Ecological interaction


Urban streetscape. Trees as multiple green landscape infrastructure


Tiber River research. Forms of urban occupation


Light shuttles. meaning of sustainability in emerging markets



Design Competition Dortmund / Germany

Urban public space open Plaza

banding and linking the space area and space walls


green space surround

space allocation quiet and busy areas

conditions Cityscape The series of plazas surrounding the Dortmunder U (former industrial complex of Dortmund’s Union Brewery) and the areas around the Koenigswall take on a number of important planning tasks. They connect Dortmund’s urban core with the city expansion to the west. This emphasizes the staging of the area as an important landmark in the city-scape by forming an attractive gateway at the Dortmunder U from the city center to its surrounding urban developments.

Design concept To achieve these planning conditions, the two existing forecourts shall be brought together as one spatial sequence. The proposed structural arrangement should therefore be as simple as possible. It consists of a banded pavement design with a ‘green frame’. With the sequential dissolution of elements towards the middle, sub-spaces are created with varying light and shadow effects. Areas on the outer edges of the plaza invite visitors to linger and relax, while the main plaza area remains open. The arrangement of the proposed elements is comparable in size and proportion to the respective sub-spaces of the plaza and takes into account the overall spatial dichotomy of the area. In particular, a stronger differentiation and articulation of the sub-spaces was abandoned in favor of emphasizing the importance and position of the Dortmunder U in its urban context.




internship. bbzl landscape and urban space design. berlin / germany

closed urban design competition 3. Prize 03/08

research, competition design, graphic processing perspective and plan, pictographic representation

pictographs. llustrating the design elements and structures revealing the space linkage

lighting concept


overview plan. general design area in the urban surrounding with designed concept

connections and accessibility

perspective. perceptibility of the atmosphere and space and the achieved connectivity

details. space adjustment by paved lines and guiding inventory and light at day and night



Design Competition Zurich / Switzerland

Urban Oasis Park & attached school Design concept The design’s aim is to transform the historic area of Pfingstweid into a contemporary urban oasis to provide the future users with a vegetative space of possibilities which, at the same time, contrasts and incorporates the surrounding urban conditions.

Architecture „All in One“ The school building tries to use as little space as possible and therefore all claimed uses are stacked vertical into an expandable school-rack-system. This architectural intervention is integrated into the parks landscape and grows out of its treetops. The industrial-like materialisation of the building not only guaranties its easy construction, variability and deconstruction but also reflects the former industrial history of the ground. The mineralised floor of the building and its location in the fringe area of the site provides as much open space (park area) as possible to the future users.

Vegetation The vegetative moments, illustrating the programmatic concept of the site, are arranged in an “open centre” with a diverse mowing concept and a “membrane fringe” with a variety of different trees. This special organisation is accentuated by a slope which blends from the edge of the plot through the fringe into the centre.




employee at BASK architecture urban design. zurich / switzerland

competition with bauchplan landscape architects. wien / austria

coordination, design idea, competitive plans, representation of the sections, gender plan, selection of tree species

sections. elaboration of the park border as a fringe of various trees

space design and gender plan

design area overview. main elements space design including gender plan

overall section. architectural intervention is integrated into the park-landscape as it grows out of the

treetops to prevent a plattform for a synoptic view of the urban oasis

perspective. spaciousness targeted by the implementation of the elements at the edge of space



Competition Berlin / Germany

Greenway Corridor urban River space urban Context The South Panke Corridor connects the Invaliden Park with the South Panke Park. The green corridor is the backside of the Federal Intelligence Service in Berlin. The planned area is an elongated corridor made up of different sections of varying lengths and widths. A characteristic copse of poplars, maples and black locust trees runs along the western edge of the corridor. The wooden border marks the course of the corridor by creating a recognizable spatial contour.

Riverside Pathway The course of the River Panke forms the backbone of the greenway. Its continuously flowing linearity is understood as the main connecting feature that allows for individual orientation and positioning within the open green space. At the same time, the Panke slightly changes course at several points, articulating multiple sections along the river, which offer changing perspectives on the surrounding environment. Encouraging the visitor to experience these described spatial effects, the riverside path is aligned parallel to the main path. The upper edge of the riverside path is slightly above the water level.

Sun and Shade (Entry areas) The course of the Panke’s flow creates niches on both sides of the river. The two areas are distinguished by their bank formations, tree linings, and different light and shade exposures. Four entry areas make up the entrÊe to the open green space. The Panke and accompanying riverside path are embedded in the entrance areas, which are independent from the main square. The riverbed widens at the entrance areas. Descending a ramp and generous progression of steps, cyclists and pedestrians finally reach the river’s edge at water level.




internship. bbzl landscape and urban space design. berlin / germany

Invited competition 1st prize 11/07

reprocessing plan basics, graphical Implementation of competitive design, concept development vegetation and river stream

general plan. overview park area of 2.8 ha in two segments

sections. width and narrowness in the different sections of the park

perspective. consolidation of the water edge (panke river) with the sidewalk

Detailing Topography The competition design involves substantial ground modeling. These ground motions were checked and clarified in system-sections. Further for each specific design situations in detailed sections and 3D models developed. Important junctions such as the new site of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) were reviewed. The soil modeling (backfill and erosion) were recorded and calculated in the mass plans.




internship. bbzl landscape and urban space design. berlin / germany

Second Phase of the competition. Design and construction plan

detailling competition design, implementation planning, elaboration of sections, calculation, mass plan

soil modelling plan. recorded and calculated backfill and erosion

detailing. the park entrance is an urban square covering the river.

system-sections. ground modeling. clarification of height, steps and water edge.

foto. entrance area of the first opened park segment.

about 2 km to the nearest wall. The niches support the broad view and freedom across the former airfield. The huge space remains unique experience



open space as urban re-use-strategie Tempelhof airport Berlin/ Germany

SINGLE- HOLLOW a minimum distance of 150m is defined to guarantee the extensive quality of the field

Strategic Hollow A reverse archeology HOLLOW-GROUPS a maximum distance of 75m results into clusters of holows

Context Airport Tempelhof was closed in the fall of 2008. 380 ha of open space in the heart of a European capital are waiting to be opened for the city again. There is no necessity for a residential program, industrial areas or commercial use and no money to maintain huge parks. A traditional masterplan is not needed and would not be effective. Even though the municipality needs a reliable procedure to follow urgently.

Landscape Strategie Phase 1: Claim your Spot The enormous vastness and the wide horizon are unique in Berlin and will be kept as major features. A network of literal sunken hollows can be introduced by local stakeholders. A minimum set of rules has to be followed to keep the spatial qualities and preserve the existing natural phenomena. Collective planners are coordinating and acting in public according to a sensitive analysis of the former airfield. Every intervention needs to be embedded in the topography as a hollow, none should show up above the surface. The arrangement of the hollows is organized according to regulations. Each individual user determines the program of each hollow in negotiation with his neighbours and the regulations. Phase 2: Imprinting identity Over the years the density of hollows on the field increases. Additionally each hollow can be upgraded. Networks evolve and lead to the consolidation of the growing social structures. The formerly vast space transforms into a site with a rich identity to become a point of interest for residents and tourists. Reverse archeology fills in the times of recession and anticipates the dedication of a development to come.




“edge city” Design Studio Chair of Urban Design and Architectur TU Berlin

exhibition “Tempelhofnext generation” Berlin 2009. http://www. index.php?id=1578

idea, graphic reprocessing, conceptual strategy, master plan for a large urban open space, modell building, preparation of the exhibition

Single hollow Generous spacing between adjacent niches single niche gaining intimacy.

Grouped hollows


Located close to each other niches in small groups. Through exchanges and contacts are stamped from a social network.


Teaser hollow At key connection points with the city encourage teaser niches passersby to the discovery of the field.




Lighthouse hollow At the two highest peaks in each case there is a lighthouse-niche that offers visitors the opportunity to focus and snap.

tree population noise catchment

catchment area

Hollow-box The airfield maintained by smaller niches its independent character. the paved surface requires more planning than embedding the topographic niche in their environment.

regulations.A minimum set of regulations is needed for a strategic structure of the vast space and stage the configuration of hollows

orientation of the field density

Single-hollow/ niche, with protected access, individually rented

Teaser hollow, near the entrance; special offers as explanation boards, watch pictures, opening times, etc. make it a major attractor for the field Single hollow. plenty of space open field remains. partially between the niches distance up to 15 minutes.

Hollow-Group. Exchange and activities due to the proximity of each other niches among possible. The groups can thus serve as a social nest

visitors view Single hollow

to generate interime use and adaptable developement potentials without distroying the already existing qualities.

section + perspective. people’s experience of the wide field should be maintained by the design intervention

map of the area. distribution of the various hollow-typologies (including radius) with the help of the regulation on the visibility

PHASE I ( 2-5 years Actors I



interested parties

Landscape as design strategie Phase3: Predefinition of future development When future framework conditions change, the hollows are being used as a tool to define the form and degree of coming urban development. The created hollows stay and become part of the future neighbourhood. The position and configuration of the existing hollows lead to extraordinary architectural typologies and determine an unknown and exciting type of land use.

collective of planers

PHASE II ( 5-25 year

into the process

Actors II

Each hollow add information the future land use plan. A social network is predefined and forms the backbone of a future society. The result is the pre-dedication of a vivid future quarter in Berlin: a reverse archeology.

users collective of planers

The project also was a contribution at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) for international urban research in 2009. The “edge city” Design Studio TU Berlin, Prof. Stollmann and “strategic hollow. A reverse archeology” was displayed at the collective exhibition “Tempelhof-next generation” in the Architecture Forum of TU Berlin in 2009.


PHASE III ( 25-x year Actors III city government private Users investors

“edge city” Design Studio Chair of Urban Design and Architectur TU Berlin

exhibition “Tempelhofnext generation” Berlin 2009. http://www. index.php?id=1578

idea, graphic reprocessing, conceptual strategy, master plan for a large urban open space, modell building, preparation of the exhibition

timeline. strategie of reverse archeology. Processes of implementation

urban density


social network


open space


) the hollow as an informal pioneer Opening of the field

site development/ orientation/networking is provided gradually due to the progression of sections

Section I

after opening the field, first hollow-grous are created

Section II single-hollows on the field as well as single-niches along the landing strip are applied

Section III other hollow-groups emerge

rs ) the hollow as an established location

Uses Density on the field

Niches can change their implementation underneath the surface during this phase.

When the maximumdensity of niches for the perception of the free field is achieved, phase II begins.

transformation addition adaptation expansion

rs )

the hollow as an official tool/ instrument Planning

Density in the city As a reaction to the population development and the housing situation the established niches and their setbacks can be used to generate areas for variable functions (e.g. potential construction sites for dwellings). This redadication strategy is intended to be longranging.

Establishment as an instrument for urban planning: Imaginable realization in a zonig plan (setbacks and height of buildings determined by typology of hollows),.

Advantage social network, minimal infrastructure and identity evolve prior to zoning map and buildings:

reverse archeology



Design Competition ecological urbanism New York City / U.S.A.

MOSS. Re-turn as urban green Infrastructure moss as landscape field typologie

Background While moss was naturally wide spread over cities for centuries increasing air pollution during the industrialisation swamped most species out of urban areas. Just in recent years this specific form of the urban flora returned back to the cities. Most of the extremely diverse plants offer an outstanding capability to absorb high amounts of water and can therefore work as an efficient tool for flood prevention during times of storm and heavy rain. On the other hand mosses humidify air thus having remarkable effects on local climates. Because of its quick reaction to environmental changes many species can be used as a highly visual indicator of a changing surrounding. As a result moss is highly qualified to be used form green infrastructures within cities.



aggregation. intervention The different layers of the spatial analysis like concentration of smog areas and wind appearance of Manhattan, New York form agglomeration areas with high demand to improve the environmental conditions. In combination with the build grid areas of intervention an implementation of the three moss typologies (moss as field, moss as a line, moss as a spot) can be identified. The project was developed as part of the university project MOGLI (Making of large green infrastructure). Submission to the WPA 2.0 competition NYC, USA the project was presented at the European Landscape Biennial, Barcelona 2010.




Project at TU Berlin. and submission at WPA 2.0 Competition NYC, U.S.A

European Landscape Biennial, Barcelona 2010. landscape/VI/default_ eng.html

position ecological city, green infrastructure, utopian concept, idea and graphical implementation

pictogram. illustration of the structuring and linking space design

Water absorption

moss as structure lined typologie

Benefit of moss in urban areas: Comparison of tree and moss

Water evaporation

Co2 assimilation

Prevention of flooding


Sensitivity on vermins


moss as an object punctual typologie

Typologies of Moos – Infrastructure: Fields / Lines / Points

Possible implementations of the different typologies in the urban fabric



Thesis/ ecological city of green infrastructures Berlin/ Germany

Trees as landscape Infrastructure in the urban street scape Approach The work examines the role of urban tree for the qualification of urban space as an urban action and expression space in light of new open space typologies in ever denser cities. Various tree-breeding cycles, growth stages and types are being studied as possible “tools”, and tested as a combined space typologies in the “Nursery Street” to the concrete example streets in Berlin. The Nursery Street combines production, action and interaction, and so qualifies the street space as a residence and production space again. Gestalt green and usable green are combined with minimal intervention and different actors. Trees and tree plantations are lifted out of the role of the “city element” and presented as an active space-principle of a multi-coded “green infrastructure” that produces new urban spaces. The aim of this work is to provide the mechanisms of the „benefits“ and „-usage“ of the space with a superior spatial link to search for a new strategy, and so leads to the production of active, urban embossed green spaces, which represents a gain for the city of Berlin. Enable resources and transforming In this approach, the paper elaborates by drawing up a strategy of space production in dense, urban areas, which effectively acts resources in terms of sustainable development, ie Resources activated and strategically transformed. An important aspect represents Represents the design in existing enclosed space of the urban road.




Final Thesis TU Berlin. “Straße und die Macht des Bäumlichen. Zum Wandel des städtebaulichen Strukturelements Straße und dem Potenzial von Straßenbäumen als grüne Infrastruktur am Beispiel Berlin“

Institut für Landschaftsarchitektur und Freiraumplanung (Prof. Giseke) (http://www.freiraum. php?id=frpla_ aktuelles)

idea, concept, position ecological city, green infrastructure, graphics, text, layout

Timeline. Evolution of Street trees in european Cities

traum me

Baumvergleich Baumbestand in Proportion zur Stadtgröße im urbanen und peri-urbanen Stadtraum. Straßenbaumbestand 2010


Vergleich Fläche und Dichte der Städte Einwohnerdichte Innenstadt (Ew/ha) Einwohnerdichte Stadtrand (Ew/ha)

Analysis. Berlin landuse and tree data. mapping of yearly clearance and planting

datal collection and thesis pictogramms. “Which role do street trees play in the urban landscape, which future role is possible if trees

become the main part ofa new multiple green infrastructure?“

Thesis The road area is potential space of a new urban-influenced green space typology, which can be an interactive and productive part of Berlin‘s green space system. A new tree-based practice can form the street tree of a vegetative element to being an active principle and basic structure of a green infrastructure for Berlin. Analysis of urban tree species The principle of „green infrastructure“ can be described for the urban space as follows: Green infrastructure is multi-functional and connects urban landscapes macro by micro-interventions.

Analysis of City Trees and Species The ecologically oriented design of the strategy Nursery Fields pursued with regard to the types of trees and their production two significant main objectives. To increase the ecological potential of the emerging freedom, should in principle be used a variety of possible trees. On the one hand therefore monocultures are avoided and biodiversity, on the other hand is prevented by a high species variety of the spread of disease, as spread tree diseases usually only within a species. A second criterion of the selector represents the original distribution dar. Cross is the idea of ​​indigenous (autochthonous) To prefer plants, since they can be integrated into the existing ecosystem

Analysis of city and road space The road horizon is used to determine free space required within the dense urban structure. For architectural and social town Layer with information about the existing green space and the road hierarchy are superimposed. However, information such as fallow land, traffic congestion and urban structure are incorporated in this horizon with a. This results in a resource map of the road which focuses on the residential areas within the city center.

Analysis of road space The road horizon is used to determine free space required within the dense urban structure.

Nursery field typologies. Based on major species of trees, four basic types of Nursery Fields can be identified.

These result from the different growth cycles and rates of the selected species that are considered over a period of 20 years.

Coding of action Nursery Street. Potentials and criteria Reichenberger Strasse

Nursery Fields. morphology Structure. Density and actors Constant Nursery Fields. Interaction fields . The constant Nursery Fields, suitable for active spaces where the trees training is closely linked to the existing actors. Due to the constant bright grid between different uses and under the trees be approved and initiated. This loose fields thus form open spaces of interaction. The tree number of production remains relatively low. Density Nursery Fields. compact production fields . The dense Nursery Fields, as a second variant of the slow-growing trees are characterized by compact narrow grid. The trees can be planted closely by their slow growth and remain in place for a long time . They form dense structures with a high number of trees in a relatively small area . The dense Nursery Fields are spaces of compact production and have few other uses too . They produce mainly for the street tree requirements of the districts . Waiting Nursery Fields. Interim use fields . The choosen species moderate growth produce the “Waiting Nursery Fields�. This field type created at the beginning of informal spaces , which condense continuously . This creates a kind of double temporary use . On the one hand can be used for tree production, the fields quickly open space in the city , on the other hand, the growth allows a temporary use by urban actors during the first few years . Accordingly, the waiting Nursery Field allow temporary uses and , simultaneously, a continuous production with constant number of trees. Pioneer Nursery Fields. Interaction and production fields The Pioneer Nursery Fields generated by the planting of fast-growing trees and shrubs and create spaces of interaction and production. As the fast-growing tree species used are planted far apart so as not to compete , they form at the beginning of interaction spaces . Lax fields with wide grid arise that allow different uses . If the trees are not removed, the pioneer Nursery Fields form of compact structures , the type of dense Nursery Fields, fields of production, but with a small number of trees are similar to the second field . They quickly occupied the available space with compact , perceptual structures and are thus secure to fields of the pioneer production, the demand for young trees .

Perspective. The nursery street in action. Actors and Bespielung reference to an instance space

Action program in the Nursery Street Subspaces of activation.

In the four subspaces of Reichenbergerstrasse various sub-strategies are proposed for the use of Nursery Fields.

different grid and tree species are initiated by the existing stakeholders and form the basis of new open space typologies.



Territorial Research and design studio Rome / Italy

Tiber River as urban space Forms of occupation Context What is the impact of contemporary cities on territories in times of globalization? To answer this question, the territorial research studio:„Rome-Adriatic: Crossing Italian territory along via Salaria“ ventured into the territory between Rome and the Adriatic coast, looking for its specific forms of urbanisation. At one part of the 2oo x 5o km demarcated field of studies the Tiber river appears as an independent entity running from his source in the mountains through the countryside and the suburbs to the very centre of Rome and off into the sea. Thus the perspective of the river is an interesting vehicle to observe and understand the urbanization in and around Rome.

Research thesis Today the urban development of adjacent urban structures is orientated and connected to the infrastructures more than to the river. Vitiated in structure and width, but relating on itself as natural water body, the Tiber river space seems to be confronted with the backside of urban development.

Field trip The experience of a 38 km journey starting in the center of Rome and going downstream at the Tyrrhenian Sea, reveals the territory characterized by various scattered uses, which are not or only occasionally connected with the river itself. The atmosphere of the Tiber space changes within these 38 km from the dense city center of Rome to the open wide sea. Striking is the variation of space, but without any relation to the Tiber.


Further readings


Research Studio at the ETH. Contemporary City Institute. Zurich. Switzerland. rome-adriatic

field trip, research in a team, visualization, presentation

pictogramms. mapping of the Tiber River basins urban and fluvial characteristics.

sections. norrowness and withness of Tiber space & urbanisation along the river. different treatment of embankment and

draining causes a widening of the river space streamdownwards with loser forms of urban occupation.

mapping. 38 km journey along Tiber river. landuse.occupation. infrastructure.

Tiber as dynamic organism The Romans choose to build the city squarely in an area that nature had designed as floodplain. Throughout the history, Rome has been subject to frequent and powerful floods. Today Rome is located in the 200-500 years flood risk area.

Inner city embankment In 1870 the river has been contained with a wall of an average height of 12 m. This massive intervention on the water body in the inner city of Rome had affected a the relation to the river (visually and atmospherically). The former houses located near the water were cut off by the construction of the wall or were demolished by the construction of the road running parallel to the river. At the same time, new bridges were built to connect Vatican City and other parts of the city on the right side (across the Tiber) to the rest of Rome. All the narrow streets leading to the river were lost to gain space for the embankments. This caused a significant disturbance to the relationship between the river and city.

Lost connection Most of the ancient embankments have been eighter obliterated or buried by the construction of the modern Tiber flood walls in the late 19th century. The modern walls are at least 5-6m higher than the ancient Tiber embankments. Today the river in the city is only selectively accessible by narrow stairs. The wall forms a strong physical barrier. There is no real relationship between the city and the river.

sections. mapping and panoramic fotos. representation of the dynamic river width along 38 km.

plan. mapping of the areas which today are still affected by groundwater and temporary floodings.

plan. mapping of land use, nature reserves and agricultural areas preventing the urbanization process.



Design Competition “Zumtobel Group Award” Dhaka/ Bangladesh

Light shuttlers sustainability as collective initiative competition Background The main task of the Zumtobel design competition was to hand in ideas and research projects dealing with the question: what does sustainability mean in emerging markets? In this project I was part in a team of sociologists, architects, urban planners and landscape architects.

Approach “Light shuttlers” attempts to realise a widened concept of sustainability, in which design, technical and planning knowledge are integral components of a participatory process. One of the world’s fastest growing cities, Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka poses serious challenges to its inhabitants’ security. Poor women, increasingly employed in the garment industry, are particularly vulnerable. Their well-being shall be improved via an ecologically generated dynamic lighting system catered by youths.

Essay Imagine coming back home after 12 hours of work in a garment factory or in a rich family’s house. No light on the roads, the settlement dipped in darkness. What if, instead, trusted ones went along with you lighting the way? The project is set in Karail, a slum inhabited by more than 100.000 urban poor in Dhaka.“Light shuttlers” aims at developing an ecologically sustained lighting system. The slum’s illegal status makes permanent installations obsolete and informed the search for a dynamic lighting system. Its caterers will be local youths, receiving the women at Karail’s access points and accompanying them holding torch lights.


Further readings


Entry for Design Competition “Zumtobel Group Award” at Architekturforum Aedes Berlin

NGO Habitat Forum Berlin

research, investigation and ideas.visualization and preperation of delivery documents

After mapping the main ways of access, designed a mobility network based on the area’s 3 strategic hubs was designed. In Parallel, we conceived of a self-resilient system for the generation of electricity, to-date not delivered by the city authorities, via 3 biogas plants placed in the respective hubs, alongside existing marketplaces and public toilets. Instead of being dumped in open spaces, waste will aliment the shuttlers’ portable lights. Rather than developing new technology, we are bringing in a maybe more decisive innovation: making technology often not wellaccepted due to social constraints available for public use. The project equally involves dwellers, who indicate how to design the shuttle network and later volunteer as light shuttlers, a local NGO already active in the area and a company producing biogas plants. The project, which could be applied in different contexts, fosters interaction among youths and women, as sustainability emerges along with collective initiative rather than built infrastructure. This holds for Karail, but also at a general level: never more than today has social development depended on the capacity to walk together under the light of a shared reason.

Essay. What does sustainability mean in emerging markets? What aims the Lightshuttker project.

collage. illustration of the structuring and linking space design

portfolio k.kostka