Borkum (DE)

The Synthetic Site Folder and Site Brief are available for free.
Please register and login to access the Complete Site Folder.



Scales L/S

Team representative Architect, urbanist and landscape architect
Location Borkum, Kurviertel
Population 5160 inhabitants

Reflection site 45 ha - Project site 18 ha, 4,5 ha

Site proposed by City of Borkum
Actors involved City of Borkum, Nordseeheilbad Borkum GmbH
Owner(s ) of the site City of Borkum

Commission after competition In the on-site workshops after the competition, the results are to be discussed on site and adapted if necessary. The next planned step is to commission the winning team(s) with urban planning studies.

More Information

Inhabited milieu's challenges

The North Sea island of Borkum, located in the Wadden Sea Nature Reserve and with an area of 31 km2, is the largest of the seven East Frisian Islands and consists of three districts: in the east, there is the «Reede» with its port area, in the west the district «Borkum» with the most important tourist offers, the town hall, and most of the island’s inhabitants. In between, there is the district «Ostland», which is characterized by nature and has extensive dune areas with a diverse flora and fauna, making Borkum the most species-rich island in the region.
Around 5,000 residents live on Borkum all year round, and in the summer months, around 300,000 visitors (2.4 million over- night stays) come to the island, making tourism and its related businesses a strong economic factor.At the same time, tourism poses great challenges: it requires a correspondingly variable infrastructure, as well as many seasonal workers. This results in a shortage of housing - for islanders, but especially for seasonal workers.
Further challenges include the backlog of development and renovation, especially in the «Kulturinsel» (cultural island) located in the project site 1, as well as in the public spaces and the historic spa park. In addition, Borkum has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming an emission-free island by 2030 and must make adjustments to the impending climate change in the coming years.
The spa district, with its historical and culturally significant spa architecture from the 19th century, houses the most important spa and cultural facilities as well as hotels and leisure activities and is the flagship and unique selling point of Borkum.

Questions to the competitors

How can Borkum continue to develop its tourism and create structures, uses, buildings, and open spaces that offer added value for visitors, health resort guests, and residents alike?
The Europan task is to develop a new programmatic and spatial perspective for the spa district that does justice to the impor- tance of the place and offers a multifunctional mix of uses that is inclusive of guests and residents.
How can recreation, leisure, and healthcare be developed in a future-proof manner for all? This requires a spatial and content- related restructuring in project areas 1 and 2, which includes various types of housing as well as hotel and cultural and spa offers both indoors and outdoors. How can the range of leisure activities be expanded, even for the off-season and bad wea- ther days? Where could event spaces, the visitor center of the national park, an information center of the city, and a small library be housed - and how can these be thematically and spatially linked? Mixed and flexible structures must be provided that can be adapted to different needs and are thus future-proof.
How can the two project areas be better connected to the spa district and the rest of the city?
What does the future hold for the «culture island», which dates back to 1977 and is in need of renovation? Will it be revita- lized, expanded, renovated, or completely rethought? In this context, life cycle costs and recycling of building materials should also be considered. How can the underutilized Kurpark (spa park) be made sustainable and attractive for visitors?
What do open spaces look like that are attractive to different groups and contribute to climate adaptation? What contribution can the project areas make to improve the climate balance?

Questions on the site

You have to be connected -and therefore registered- to be able to ask a question.

This site is connected to the following theme

Designing new habitats as a holistic environment

Some nature reserves around the world are deserts –hot or cold–, but they host all kinds of animals and microorganisms hiding in the cracks and crevices, under the rocks. Some of our sites look empty, vacant, but they are not. They are full of life: in the soil, in the air, in the breeze. They are part of a larger balance of natural forces and processes. On these sites, substantial new volumes of programme are required. Think of these sites as the opportunity to multiply the number of life forms, think of the request to build new habitats as an opportunity to design a holistic environment. Think tabula non-rasa!

Specific documents

Questions on the site

You have to be connected –and therefore registered– to be able to ask a question.

Fr. 2 June 2023
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 16 June 2023
Deadline for answers

Before submitting a question, make sure it does not already appear in the FAQ.

Please ask questions on sites in the Sites section.
Please ask questions on rules in the Rules section.

If your question does not receive any answer in 10 days, check the FAQ to make sure the answer does not appear under another label or email the secretariat concerned by the question (national secretariat for the sites, European secretariat for the rules).