In general, Münster is performing well in the future landscape, with a continuous population growth and becoming one of the youngest cities within the state. However, when zooming in a bit to look at the population structure change, it is interesting to find out that the city is experiencing a loss of the younger group. Based on predictions from both wegweiser-kommune and IT NRW, the 19-25 year old group is shrinking while all the other groups are expanding. As a university city, the continuous yearly fresh new-commers for study become a “fountain of youth”.However, is Munster attractive enough for them to stay? Graduates move out when there is a lack of job opportunities; people leave when it is difficult to find an affordable apartment; families move to outskirts for quality living but facing the long distance commuting issue at the same time…Current phenomena indicate that within the compact Innenstadt, there is a need for adequate jobs and attractive yet affordable multi-family urban living.

Zooming into the site itself, nestled in the Innenstadt directly neighboring the train station, the site provides a perfect chance to reflect on those issues. The current railway tracks make it an unpleasant backside of the city, in contrast with the shining glamorous frontside views in the center. It gives people the pulse to remove everything that mismatches the charming medieval character of the city. But wait a minute, is everything really so bad? In July 2019, after the competition got released, four people squatted the Alte Guterbahnhof for 13 days, in order to protest that the unique character of the area, the unofficial atmosphere, the live music and creative genes should be kept instead of being replaced by the modern gentrification. The voice should not be ignored.


Based upon the general challenge faced by the city and the current condition of the site, this proposal explores a possible answer towards a sustainable smart growth. It turns the unpleasant railway strip to an open pedestrian park, connecting the bahnhof, bushof and all the way south, to generate job opportunites and provide quality housing for the long term stay.


Ignited by the redirection of Albersloher Weg, the north part becomes an accessible mixed-use office area, to establish an open image for the “Stadteingang”, to improve the atmosphere imediately around the train station, and also to relieve a part of
stress from remote commuting as it is close to trains.


Seeking a balance between gentrification and the protection of the unique character, in the middle part, the Alte Güterbahnhof is renovated as an activity hub with its original atmosphere. Flexible home-office incubator strip resides along, functioning with co-living / co-working modes and the flexibility to change its structure during a strong housing or working market. Together with the existing Banhnhof building clusters, the strip with ground level bars, restaurants, workshops becomes a cradle for creative thougts and dynamic encounters. It turns the backside front and spreads odor for young graduates.


Towards west, sheltered by the park and incubator strip, the living areas enjoy a nice view and a quiet environment. Sharing the parking places in the strip, the area remains as largely pedestrian. It secures a high quality with inner courtyard and angled green zone beside the road as well. Well connected with the existing urban fabric, each living block is accessible by both city and park side. Populated by singles and multi-families, the living zone functions as a strong backup for attracting those who are willing for a  long stay.


Ultimately, as an education, science and service center, Munster has to be consistenly more attractive than other cities to win migration gains. How to attract young people and more importantly to make them long stay is at the center of the issue. In a nutshell, this proposal takes use of the existing unique young-people-friendly element of the site as a trigger for larger scale renovation, turns the backside front with attractive and different-typed job and living opportunities, in order to fully attract young people and make Münster their home, their memory, and part of their identity.



Schlaun Wettebewerb 9: Münster Bahnstadt Süd



Shiqing Liu, Yang Liu