The historic downtown of Ingolstadt has been kept almost unaltered, conserving its urban fabric and building sizes for years. Its southern zone is organised by two crossing main streets, with a North-South traffic axis of public transport and limited private car access accross the Harderstasse-Moritzstrasse and a pedestrian East-West axis through the Theresienstrasse and the Ludwigstrasse linking important monuments between the Liebfrauenmünster and the New Castle. On the contrary, the northern part of downtown that continues the North-South axis through the Harderstrasse, still permits the transit of private cars, lacking of pedestrian zones and public spaces with a specific atmosphere. This northern part of the old town has many administrative and educational buildings and the urban space needs a “leitmotiv” to be redeveloped to achieve a common identity.
The proposal 'upside downtown' relates concepts of mobility and cultural infrastructure in two axes, focusing on 5 specific sites. The North-South axis through the Harderstrasse focuses on the public space infrastructure between Harder Tor to Franziskaner Platz. The East-West axis through the Oberer - Unterer Graben from Harderbastei to Wunderl-Kassematte focuses on cultural infrastructure. At the intersection of these axes is the Central Bus Station (ZOB), proposed to be a cultural crossroad in the center of the Ingolstadt.
The philosophy behind the mobility concept of the proposal is to give the priority to the pedestrian and the non-motorized transport like bikes, skates and boards in the Hardertrasse (North-south axis). As the main budget for mobility projects goes to public and private transport infrastructures and the city of Ingolstadt has a lack of creative/cultural spaces, the project combines cultural life and mobility infrastructure with an architectural proposal.
The Harderstrasse continues the pedestrian axis in North-South direction from the Am Stein to the Oberer- Unterer Graben with a central lane in both directions for public transport, for local residents and commerce delivery. The transversal streets become one-way streets, supported by the Proviantstr. and the Oberer Graben, creating a loop with the Schrannenstrs./ Michstr.
The Central Bus Station is the central node amongst the public spaces redesigned along the Harderstrasse and the cultural buildings proposed along the East-West axis of the Obererer Graben-Unterer Graben/ Esplanade. The proposal reduces the number of bus platforms through efficient smart logistics of the mobility concepts of Ingolstadt. The extra space gained will be used to enlarge the central area as a new public space. Here, the fingers of the roof structure of the Central Bus Station move closer towards the square and achieve a moment of density, creating five pavillons and stairs as a stand for performances. The combination of technical floors and suspended ceilings provide multiple media outlets for multifunctional spaces under the roof of the Central Bus Station. The ceiling and the floor outlets surround create an open exhibition space in combination with the Central Bus Station. This stimulating urban landscape along the Esplanade is completed by 5 pavillons for various uses to celebrate the cultural life, urban renewal and technological innovations of Ingolstadt.