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From Airport to Birdport


In collaboration with De Zwarte Hond Köln, Felixx has developed a landscape strategy for the public space of the former Essen-Mülheim airport. The design is an answer to the growing demand for more integration of nature in our cities. Combining spatial quality of the working environment with nature, ecology and climate adaptation, Birdport is an innovative business park for the future, in which high-tech and nature come together within a high-quality public space.

Located between nature reserves Rumbachtal, Forstbachtal and Rossenbecktal, Birdport forms a new link in existing landscape structures. The design emphasizes Nature-based Solutions, creating a resilient environment where commercial use and nature go hand in hand.

nature included 

The public space is an important part of the greening strategy of the area and is characterized by different habitats and associated vegetation types: moist areas for extra buffer capacity, higher areas on rooftops, dense tree areas, flowering species and flower meadows.

Measures to collect, delay and reuse rainwater are essential elements of the landscape concept, since infiltration of water through the polluted soil is made impossible. Each building offers optimal conditions for ecological diversity, such as intensive and extensive green roofs. Creating extra living space for birds, bats and insects and at the same time serve as a water buffer.

genius loci

The character of the area, or the Genius Loci, is further developed by retaining characteristic infrastructure such as the landing strip, the strong visual axes and the object-like buildings. The former runway is used again in the design, as a Discovery Loop. A walking route on the old runway, only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. The edges of the disused runway are planted with native grass species that purify the contaminated soil using phytoremediation. A nature-oriented solution that uses micro-organisms present in the plant that collect, convert and degrade sediments in the contaminated soil.

experimental playing field

The business park focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups for knowledge and technology-oriented companies and innovative research and development cooperation with universities. Birdport consists of three spatial areas, each with its own focus, allowing it to appeal to a wide range of businesses. The 'flexible backbone' is a spacious park that connects existing biotopes with the new district, a 'high-dense campus' that is characterized by a high density and that facilitates the needs of future companies. Finally, 'Iconic buildings with a view' form an experimental playing field. A grid of regularly placed trees and blocks, interrupted by organically designed paths and public places, forms an unexpected pattern of different scales. This mix of different building typologies and flexible use of public space also creates a lively neighborhood outside traditional working hours.

The three sub-areas are connected by four traffic arteries: two loops and two spacious boulevards. One of these loops forms the main access road for car traffic, to which various mobility hubs are connected, such as parking facilities and shared cars and bicycles. Like the Discovery Loop, the two spacious boulevards are only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists and provide a safe and attractive connection to the neighbourhood.

The unique location, design and positioning of Birdport make this business park on the former airport stand out from many other developments in the Ruhr metropolitan area.




Essen-Mülheim Airport


Masterplan, Infrastructure, Landscape

Team & partners

Michiel van Driessche
Deborah Lambert
Marnix Vink
Nancy Smolka
Natalia Andreeva
De Zwarte Hond

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  2. Vief Kwartier
  3. The Newton
  4. Regulateur Gruno district
  5. Eemsdelta Campus
  6. Jonas Amsterdam
  7. K64 keflavík airport area masterplan
  8. Railroad Zone Amsterdam
  9. From node to place
  10. Masterplan Flora Campus Westland
  11. Alongside the Schie
  12. New Space - Design Guideline Liveability of Public Space, Groningen
  13. From Airport to Birdport
  14. Brainport Industries Campus
  15. Hondsrug Park Amsterdam
  16. Yangmeikeng Sea Boulevard
  17. Healthy Tracks
  18. Towards a healthy city by foot
  19. Floating Gardens, Amsterdam
  20. The Unbound Amsterdam
  21. Seaside Gardens, Gufunes
  22. Brainport Smart District Helmond
  23. The Swan, Zwolle (NL)
  24. Spatial Framework Blankenburg Süden, Berlin
  25. 'Typhoon-proof' Shenzhen's East Coast
  26. Circular City Bodø 2.0
  27. A green entrance for the airport
  28. Public Space Alpen
  29. Cartesius Quarter
  30. Isle of Dikes
  31. Smakkelaarsveld Utrecht
  32. Darmstadt Masterplan 2030+
  33. Bao’An G107 Corridor
  34. Master Plan Ter Aar, Nieuwkoop
  35. Waterfront Novosibirsk
  36. City Square Tyumen
  37. Almazov National Medical Research Centre
  38. Strategic Urban Green Study
  39. Public Space Strategy Kanpur
  40. Quartierlandschaft Dietenbach
  41. ImageWharf
  42. Ódinstorg Square
  43. Overloon War Museum
  44. Lokhalle Leverkusen
  45. Ludlstrasse Munich
  46. Yaanila Country Park
  47. Redevelopment Strategy Vogabyggð
  48. Villa Garden
  49. City life in the woods
  50. Schie Quarter Schiedam
  51. Socio-technical city of the future
  52. Buji River
  53. Vaskhnil Novosibirsk
  54. Precincts Canterbury Cathedral
  55. Maritime Campus Almere
  56. Resilient Riverscape Berat
  57. Sijthoff
  58. Strategic Plan Shkodra
  59. Ekaterinburg City Campus
  60. Transformation Strategy Gufunes
  61. Transformation Strategy Chelyabinsk
  62. Fish Market Leuven
  63. Zinder Culture Cluster
  64. Food Innovation Strip Ede-Wageningen
  65. S4 Highway Hangzhou
  66. Strategic Plan Fier
  67. Strategic Plan Elbasan
  68. Kronenburg Business Park
  69. Dharavi Mumbai
  70. Masterplan Smáralind Mall
  71. Urban Test Farm Emmen
  72. Ásbrú Enterprise Park
  73. Asylum Seekers Center Ter Apel
  74. Berlin Am Volkspark
  75. The Museum of the 20th Century
  76. Gardabaer
  77. Metropolitan Westerpark Amsterdam
  78. Science and Technology City Chongqing
  79. Yue Xiu 353 Transformation
  80. 5YN3RGY
  81. Erlongshan Recreational Park
  82. Danxia Recreational Park
  83. Campus Lelystad
  84. Proto Tamansari
  85. City Gardens Tyumen
  86. Park Somerlust Amsterdam
  87. Bandar Lampung Park
  88. R&D Campus Fengxian
  89. S-West Eindhoven
  90. Biodiversity based dairy farming
  91. Heidelberg Creative Quarter
  92. Barendrecht Vrouwenpolder
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