Good bye Uberbau, hello TSPA

the scoop
Thomas Stellmach Planning and Architecture emerged from Uberbau (RIP and Thank You!) in late 2014. TSPA continues the work in different global contexts and scales, with projects ranging from regional development to neighbourhood transformation across Europe, Asia and Africa.

thus far
The first few months of 2015 have been rich. We are currently masterplanning a 73 ha city extension in Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia while the UN-Habitat consultancy continues with missions to Ethiopia and the Philippines. We also delivered a concept to transform a ‘60s megastructure in Seoul in cooperation with Crosby architects. Meanwhile, the work of TSPA was presented at Syracuse (London) and Urbanfest (Izhevsk).

who (k)new?
As the projects expand, so does the team. We welcome Alexandra and Karina (RU), Cason (US), Ben (DE), Jasper (NL), Javier (ES), as well as Luca and Raffaele (IT)!

Feel invited to find out more on this new website and to download our portfolio in the office section. Also, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus in the sidebar. And most modern, call us +49 (30) 5770 6349 2.

So long, all best from Berlin.

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Maputo Sixties Modernism

Maputo is one of the cities with the highest concentrations of sixties modernist architecture, if not the highest. Some impressions here, while Thomas is on mission for the UN-Habitat ASUD programme in Mozambique.

Competition Preparations for ASUD Philippines, Manila

Thomas is in the Philippines to develop design briefs for planned city extensions with the municipalities of Cagayan de Oro, Silay, and Iloilo with the support of colleagues from UN-Habitat and Arcadis.

The Density Syndicate, Cape Town

The results of our contribution as part of INTI’s density syndicate will be displayed at the Density Syndicate conference in Cape Town on November 3, 2014.

We have developed a sustainable densification strategy based on the existing mixed and vibrant qualities along the Voortrekker road corridor. Find the full project presentation here.

Support to the UN-Habitat workshop ‘Urban Planning for City Leaders’ in Diani, Kenya

From 11 to 14 November Thomas is part of the UN-Habitat team supporting the sustainable urban development sector in Kenya as part of the Kenyan Municipal Programme (KMP). He will conduct a learning session for decision makers and a two day workshop for planners and municipal staff.

UN-Habitat started training on “Urban Planning for City Leaders (UPCL)” guide as part of its capacity development initiative since September, 2013. Under this initiative, several trainings have been successfully delivered around the world.

The rapid planning studio aims at informing local leaders of each town/county about the value that urban planning could bring to their counties and to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between local leaders, policy makers and planners on urban development especially on the themes of public space, densification, urban patterns, and connectivity including the importance of legal frameworks and urban economy.

Workshop on Territorial Planning for Nacala, Mozambique

Thomas will work with the UN-Habitat team and the colleagues at the University of Maputo on the Territorial Model and city extension plans for Nacala Porto and Nacala Velha in the North of Mozambique from 31 October till 8 November 2014.

Keynote at Open School for Urban Exchange, Krasnoyarsk

On 26 October Thomas will give a talk about the “Right to the City” in Krasnoyarsk at the opening conference of the Open School of Urban Change. He will address questions of ownership of public space, degrees of freedom, privatisation and other challenges of current urban development and how design can encourage participative and diverse use of the the city by the communities.

Urban Planning for City Leaders Workshop, Kuala Lumpur

Thomas will speak at the ‘Urban Planning for City Leaders Workshop’ in Kuala Lumpur. The workshop was organized by CITYNET in collaboration with UN-Habitat and takes place from the 22nd – 25th September 2014.

Rapid Planning Studio in Kenya

From 2 to 5 September Thomas is part of the UN-Habitat team supporting the sustainable urban development sector in Kenya as part of the Kenyan Municipal Programme (KMP). He will conduct a learning session for decision makers and a two day workshop for planners and municipal staff in Nairobi and Naivasha.

UN-Habitat started training on “Urban Planning for City Leaders (UPCL)” guide as part of its capacity development initiative since September, 2013. Under this initiative, several trainings have been successfully delivered around the world.

The rapid planning studio aims at informing local leaders of each town/county about the value that urban planning could bring to their counties and to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between local leaders, policy makers and planners on urban development especially on the themes of public space, densification, urban patterns, and connectivity including the importance of legal frameworks and urban economy.

City Changers. Lecture at German Development Institute, Bonn

Thomas will give a lecture in Bonn on 31 July 2014 at the German Development Institute (DIE): City Changers. Sustainable Urban Development – A Planning Perspective from City-wide Development Strategies to Urban Acupuncture.

Cities and People: Civic Initiatives talk in Yakutsk, Russia

Thomas International conference “Cities and People: civic initiatives – the formula of mutual trust”, which will be held on June 27, 2014 in the city of Yakutsk.

The purpose of the International conference is to study the experience in developing a new model for a modern city having citizens’ active participation. The International conference will be attended by honorary guests, heads of international organizations, delegations from cities of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), representatives of cities-members of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and sister cities of Yakutsk from other countries as well.

Reality Bites, IUSD Monday Lecture

Thomas presents „reality bites“ taken from his work experience in different cultural contexts – from Iraq to Russia at the University of Stuttgart as part of the Monday lecture series at IUSD. You can also see the video.

The MSc Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) offered in Cairo and Stuttgart aims to train a new generation of urban practitioners to face the tremendous environmental, cultural and social challenges resulting from the rapid urbanization and ongoing societal transformation currently taking place in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and elsewhere.

Keynote at Urbanfest 2014, Izhevsk

On 21-23 May 2014, Thomas ill be one of the keynote speakers at the International Urban Forum in Izhevsk (translated version), Russia. The urban forum is civic initiative and network of Russian cities to foster innovative solutions for urban development and municipal management for creating better cities and living conditions in the 21st century.

A new Face for Moscow Region

Thomas Stellmach spoke in front of the Supreme Council of the Moscow Region about good regional planning principles on the 28th of February 2014. The region plans to harmonise their planning efforts and the Governor of Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyov together with the Mayors of 72 cities of the region convened in Dmitrov to discuss first steps. Thomas presented TSPA’s approach along with three Russian urbanists. Read more here (English via Google Translate).

Kick-off workshop for good urbanisation in Rwanda

Thomas was invited to support the first of 7 workshops in Kigali (Rwanda) on sustainable urbanisation for secondary cities in Rwanda hosted by UN-Habitat and the Rwanda Housing Authority on the 19th and 20th February 2014. Thomas will discuss UN-Habitat planning principles, urbanisation patterns and reference projects with the mayors and planners from six attending cities.

Bauwelt Cover Story on ‘Metropole Ruhr’

Bauwelt’s cover story features Thomas’ and Ali’s work on Germany’s Detroit – ‘Metropole Ruhr’. In Kiosks this Friday.

Urban Transformation in Nilüfer

The municipality of Nilüfer, Bursa (TK) invited Thomas together with Laura Petrella of UN-Habitat to support the workshop on ‘Developing An Urban Transformation Project in Nilüfer, Bursa’ on 29 and 30 January 2014. We will present the UN-Habitat approach and principles as well as a set of best practices.

UPDATE: You can find a little TV interview with the mayor, Thomas and Laura on local TV and a print interview as also published in Hürriyet newspaper of 9 Feb 2014. Enjoy.

‘Vitalize it’ International Winter School in El Gouna

Thomas Stellmach was invited by the TU Berlin Campus El Gouna (Egypt) to lecture on ‘Public Space in the Arab Domain’ within the framework of the ‘Vitalize it’ International Winter School 2014.

Download the lecture slides here.

Dagestan Agglomeration Plan Competition Jury

Thomas Stellmach is invited as a jury member for the ‘International Competition for a Strategic Vision for Development of Makhachkala-Kaspiysk Urban Agglomeration’ in Dagestan (RU) by the Strategic Council for the President of the Republic of Dagestan. The Jury will select 4 international teams to work on the strategic development plan for the city-region. The other Jury members are Carlos Morales-Schechinger, Uvays Kamalov, Markus Appenzeller, Alexander Boyarinov, Andrey Golovin, Irina Starodubrovskaya, Bulat Stolyarov, Jorgen Andersen, Gökhan Mentes, Jorge Gavidia, and Rumen Kalchev.

UN-Habitat mission to the Philippines, Mozambique, Kenya

Thomas will give a series of workshops as UN-Habitat consultant in the Philippines, Mozambique and Kenya in October and November. The Planning city extensions workshop in Manila on 23-25 October will involve 5 municipalities of the Philippines and focus on a rational ‘Back to the Basics’ approach for sustainable urban development and exemplify UN-Habitat principles. Thomas will also discuss the city-corridor developments and planning progress in Northern Mozambique in the cities of Nampula and Nacala from 3-6 November as part of the ASUD (Achieving Sustainable Urban Development) program.

Netzwertstadt – Final Presentation for Metropole Ruhr Strategic Vision

Together with InD and BGMR, we’ll present our project ‘Netzwertstadt’, a strategic vision for the development of the Ruhrgebiet in Duisburg-Nord on 16 and 17 October as part of the 3rd future forum of the RVR.

See more on the site of the RVR.

Expert Group Meeting “Planning City Extensions – Public and private space for expanding cities”

Thomas was invited to attend the UN Habitat Expert Group Meeting “Planning City Extensions – Public and private space for expanding cities” taking place in Barcelona on 16-18 September 2013. The conference is organized by the Barcelona City Council and UN Habitat to unite international experts from various fields to share their views on proactive, negotiated and guided city extentions in areas of huge urban growth.

More on the UN-Habitat site.

Shortlisted as one of five Teams for ‘Metropole Ruhr’ Vision Competition

We were selected to take part in the ideas competition on a metropolitan vision of the Ruhr region in collaboration with bgmr and InD supported by a range of interdiciplinary consultants. We’ll will join the inception workshop on May 22nd-23rd 2013 in the SANAA Building of the Zeche Zollverein in Essen. The Ruhrgebiet – Germany’s former industrial and mining region – is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany and currently faces huge challenges due to tremendous demographic and economic transformations. A total of five competing interdisciplinary teams were selected that include design offices such as maxwan, studio urban catalyst, yellow Z, Reicher Haase architects, Kengo Kuma associates and West 8. Results are to be expected in October 2013. More info: Webpage Metropole Ruhr (in German).

Zentrale Landesbibliothek Berlin

Berlin Central Library & Neighbourhood Design Awarded

Uberbau (Urban Design) in collaboration with MARS (Architecture) and Treibhaus / Lavaland (Landscape) win one of eight equal prizes in the open international ideas competition ‘Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin’ for Berlin’s new central library and its adjoining city quarter. The new centre at the fringes of the projected city park on the Tempelhof airfield forms part of a larger urban regeneration scheme for the district, including a new quarter around the central library complete with a central city square. The urban design re-interprets the Berlin block and creates a permeable, non-directional public network of small public spaces organised through a mix of building types with a focus on flexible typologies for various uses and users. The library serves as a landmark that contrasts with the monumental wideness of the airfield. Concentrating the building mass into a compact cube frees up space for a public square for a variety of temporary and other uses such as community gardens. The design of the new central library achieves a highly efficient programme that can fulfil long-term logistical and practical demands.

Project documentation on competitionline
Official announcement of the senate of Berlin
Press article, Berliner Zeitung, 22 April 2013

presenting the red ribbon

Europan Germany Inception Forum

Thomas gives an input lecture during the Europan 12 Germany Inception Event, where he discusses the Europan theme ‘Eco Rhythms’ and presents the winning proposal for Europan 10 in Heidelberg.

See the winning project.

Infrastructure Corridor in Mozambique

Thomas travels to Mozambique representing UN-Habitat as urban plnning expert for the ‘Achieving Sustainable Urban Development’ programme in Mozambique. He will discuss planning methodology and institutional set-up regarding the Nacala-Nampula development corridor with the local UN-Habitat team and partners.

CRE200 Stadtplanung published

Chaosradio Express Podcast Folge 200 is online – Tim Pritlove interviews Thomas on urban planning (german language).

Die Städte spielen seit dem Übergang des Menschen von Jäger und Sammler zum Ackerbau die entscheidende Rolle in der Entwicklung der Menschheit und ihre Bedeutung nimmt im 21. Jahrhundert weiter zu.

Städte stehen heute vor der Herausforderung, die großen ökologischen, ökonomischen und gesellschaftlichen Probleme der Zeit abzufedern und neue Innovationen zu gebären, um das Wachstum und den Klimawandel zu bewältigen.

Im Gespräch mit Tim Pritlove erzählt der Architekt und Stadtplaner Thomas Stellmach von der Geschichte der Städte seit dem Alten Orient über die Antike, dem Römischen Reich, dem Mittelalter, dem Barock, der Renaissance bis zur Moderne und schildert die aktuellen Herausforderungen der Stadtplanung.

[download as mp3]

Al-Adhamiya Renewal Strategy awarded in Baghdad

Uberbau’s proposal for the urban renewal of the Al-Adhamiya area in Baghdad, Iraq, was last week awarded the third price in an official ceremony in the prime minister’s office. Thomas Stellmach presented the project which will be further developed in the next phase of the project.

Sustainable Urbanisation in Asia released

Have a look at the latest UN-Habitat publication on how to achieve Sustainable Urbanisation in Asia Thomas contributed to.

Rapid urbanization — together with climate change — is emerging as the most challenging issue of the twenty-first century. As the region with the highest percentage increase in urban population over the last two decades, Asia faces fundamental economic, social and environmental challenges to its continued development. However, well planned and effectively governed and managed cities can provide the solution to many of these challenges. With the right economic policies and more equitable growth, poverty and slum reduction are achievable goals. Putting cities on the right path now can result in thriving, dense, green, resilient and sustainable cities.

[PDF download 4.5MB]

Greater Kampala Metro Area Plan Support

Thomas represents UN-Habitat in Kampala from 8-11 December 2012 to initiate support for the Goverment of Uganda for the new Metropolitan Plan for Greater Kampala regarding spatial planning and institutional coordination.

Achieving Sustainable Urban Development in Philippine Cities

Thomas is on a 2 week mission in the Philippines to initiate the ASUD (Achieving Sustainable Urban Development) programme for UN-Habitat. He meets stakeholders and project partners in Manila and discusses planning procedures in Butuan and Cagayan de Oro with the local government.

De Wereld van Witte de With 2012 in Rotterdam

Thomas and Ali of Uberbau are invited artists at the International Arts Festival De Wereld van Witte de With 2012 in Rotterdam curated by Lukas Feireiss. They’ll exhibit two timelines on streets in western countries in general and on Rotterdam’s Witte de Withstraat in specific, hold a workshop on “The Missing Street” and organize “Street Talks” with various experts. Join us from September 14th to 16th 2012 on the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam! [read on at the festival site]

UN-Habitat Mission to Rwanda

From 23 July to 8 August Thomas is on mission to Rwanda for UN-Habitat. He advises the City of Kigali and the Rwanda Housing Authority on National Urban Policy and several city extension projects in Kigali and other cities.

Aga Khan Award – Emerging Models of Planning Practices Conference

On 19-21 July Thomas is invited to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Seminar on “Emerging Models of Planning Practices” in Singapore. We’ll discuss integration of mobility, energy, water and waste disposal into planning practice, the role of educational institutions in the life of a city and the effects of art, culture and sport on planning strategies.

Re-Conceptualizing Boundaries @ AUB, Beirut

On 3-5 May Thomas presents the Aleppo Diverse | Open City project at the City Debates 2012. Re-Conceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World conference at the AUB in Beirut.

The project will be part of a publication on the conference to be released in 2015.

Capita Selecta

On 12 April at 8pm Thomas talks about recent work experiences in Africa, Asia and Europe at Capita Selecta: ‘Giant Steps: Urbanism Around the World’ hosted by the Academie von Bouwkunst in Amsterdam.

ZiL Pioneer awarded in Moscow

Uberbau is selected as one of two finalists for the AMO-ZiL competition. Ali presented “ZIL Pioneer” to an international jury and to Deputy Mayor Andrei Sharonov in Moscow on Friday, March 2nd, 2012. The proposal suggests the transformation of the centrally located, 280ha industrial site into a pioneering urban centre for Moscow. Among other contributions by Dutch office Mecanoo, French office Valode & Pistre and Russian office Project Meganom, Uberbau and Project Meganom were selected to further develop their proposals and to present them to Moscow’s Mayor in the coming months.
Have a look at the project.