New creative and cultural quarter for Postdam

7 February 2020



MVRDV exceed competition brief with winning design

MVRDV has won a competition to masterplan a new cultural quarter for the heart of Potsdam in Germany, which will offer creative people sustainable and affordable workspaces. The designers impressed the competition committee by going above and beyond the project brief, thanks to the creation of considerably more space for the creative scene than was required in the tender. The design restores the historic town layout by incorporating existing structures, while adding a new atmosphere to the block through the project’s concept based on the idea of a village.

The masterplan proposes two buildings at the edges of the block, as envisaged by the development plan, but the inner courtyard – originally foreseen as an empty square – allows for further small-scale buildings. The total ensemble creates 24,400 sq m of floor space, including 6,950 sqm of affordable rental space which will be offered to cultural and creative industries. Designed as a diverse quarter with alleys, courtyards, green roofs and squares, the plan also provides additional uses such as catering and a kindergarten, together with conference and exhibition areas.

Sven Thorissen, director at MVRDV, state: “Once the city of Potsdam determined that this block should be given a cultural and creative purpose, an intensive participatory process began in which politicians, the project developer, the architects and future users work together. The concept for the design, ‘The Village’, emerged because of the flexibility it offers, the density of diverse functions and because it allowed for more space for small-scale creative businesses than had been requested.”

The new quarter will be built in three phases, starting in 2023 with the construction of affordable studio space for artists. The second phase covers the realisation of the village ensemble, while a housing block will complete the last phase.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

Explore the TenderStream archive here

Start your free trial here or email our team directly at

Subscribe Now