We are urbanists at heart. We thrive on working in different global contexts and scales, with projects ranging from regional development to neighbourhood transformation across Europe, Asia and Africa. Our global experience has informed and tested our expertise, giving us a holistic and complex understanding of what it takes to implement successful projects.
“Creating flexible designs based on rational and collaborative decision-making delivers solutions that withstand the test of time.”
Our work centres on the strategic planning phase. Our planning and design decisions are based on a thorough analysis of the existing conditions and context. This analysis goes beyond the spatial and includes comprehensive economic, social, environmental and regulatory assessment.
We take what we call a structured creativity approach, drawing on our team’s capacity for inspired creativity, and coupling that with empirical analysis and proven best practices. This marriage between rationale and free inspiration means we deliver solutions that are at once innovative and pioneering, yet comprehensively thought out and feasible.
Teamwork, cooperation and capacity-building form the core of our decision and design process. We love to learn from our clientele and to share our experience with them: We keep a channel of dialogue open by holding frequent check-in meetings with clients, which ensures visions and targets are continually being met.
All our projects share a set of key values for holistic sustainable development: coexistence and inclusion, economically sound development and environmentally-friendly design.
With its main office in Berlin, TSPA has established partnerships and local presence in Beirut and Moscow and operates in four world regions: CIS, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe. Additionally, Thomas Stellmach is a consultant with UN-Habitat in Nairobi and cooperates closely with the urban planning lab of UN-Habitat.
Our public sector clients comprise national and regional planning boards, as well as municipalities in demand of regional and metropolitan strategies, spatial plans and visions as well as city extension and transformation projects. Our private sector clients represent development corporations who require planning services or expert consultation for urban design and analysis for regeneration of former industrial areas, as well as urban infill, brownfield and greenfield projects including feasibility and project impact studies.
TSPA’s mentality is firmly grounded on feasible possibilities and the expertise to do things better. We do hold a particular stance on urban development that stands out from the rest: that good design and cost-effectiveness are not competing, but complementary objectives.
We have witnessed time and again that the initial expenditures our clients invest in sound strategic planning, professional analysis and solution options lend to making informed decisions—decisions that minimise risk and loss of investment and ultimately result in impressive outcomes and cost-savings in the long run.
Download: TSPA portfolio [130MB]
Registered Architect AK Berlin, Germany
Thomas Stellmach is founder and director of TSPA (Thomas Stellmach Planning and Architecture) in Berlin. Born in Freiburg, Germany, he studied Architecture TU Berlin and UPC Barcelona, graduating in 2003. His focus of interest is strategic urban planning in a transforming world.
Since 2001 Thomas teaches and researches sustainable urban planning in an international context. He taught as assistant professor for urban planning at the renowned Berlage Institute and as guest professor at the University for Science and Arts in Aleppo, Syria. He conducted design studios and lectured at institutions such as Tsinghua University in Beijing, Technische Universität Berlin, Academie voor Bouwkunst in Rotterdam, Strelka Institute in Moscow and UPC in Barcelona. He was recently invited to talked about TSPA’s work in Amsterdam, Baghdad, Beirut, Moscow, Izhevsk and Yakutsk.
In his career Thomas conceived Europe’s then-largest urban extension project, “project a101” in Russia and supervised London’s 110 ha Barking Riverside neighbourhood development for Maxwan a+u in Rotterdam. In 2009, he won the competition for young architects Europan 10 with an urban plan for the city of Heidelberg in Germany. In the same year he founded Uberbau planning and architecture together with Ali Saad; TSPA (Thomas Stellmach Planning and Architecture) emerged from that partnership in 2014.
Recent examples of his work are a strategic plan for the 8 million people of Germany’s challenged Ruhr region, the plan for Astana’s Expo 2017 and city transformation projects in Baghdad and Moscow, as well as a spatial concept for Paris’ precarious banlieue districts and the competition-winning concept for Berlin’s central library and adjacent neighbourhood.
He is consultant for UN-Habitat supporting the programme for achieving sustainable urban development and coordinating pilot projects in the Philippines, Rwanda and Mozambique. To support good planning in emerging nations he is currently developing a planning methodology for sustainable urban development with UN-Habitat and working on a publication on global best practices for city transformation and extension to be published in 2015. He is a sought-after facilitator for rapid planning workshops and has recently trained planning professionals and city leaders in Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines and Rwanda.
Thomas has previously advised the Aga Khan Foundation and the German Development Service GIZ in matters of best practice in urban development and spatial planning. He conceived an urban vision and strategic development plan for the 2.6 million people of Aleppo, Syria for GIZ and the Cities Alliance.
CV Thomas Stellmach