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OpenLac was developed as a future, urban hinge between Biel and Nidau on the shores of Lake Biel. Located between the harbor and the Bieler Zihlkanal in the north and the Nidau-Büren Kanal to the south the new Maritime Quarter reacts to different adjacent urban and natural areas.

The new district is characterized by an interplay of natural and urban spaces along the lakefront. Generous open spaces on the one hand and densified building mass on the other shape as mutually dependent antipodes the image of the new quarter at the lake. The spirit of the Expo, the desire for common areas, public spaces and spatial complexity are reflected in the conceptual design and implementation of the new lake district.

Three components: the water - in form of the lake and the channels; differentiated parts of the city and open space typologies interlock into a coherent overall picture. Nature and recreation areas combined with the urban open spaces form the overall "Open Lac".


Stadt Nidau, Stadt Biel


Urban Planning Competition with Prequalification, 3. Prize


Urban Planning, Urban Design, Masterplanning, Architecture


2013 –

Team & Collaborators

helsinkizurich (Mirjam Niemeyer, Tommi Mäkynen, Jonathan Kischkel, Michelangelo D'Ettorre, Roberto Schumacher), Hager Partner AG (landscape architecture), tbf.marti ag (civil engineering), studio durable (sustainability); and advising: Mark Michaeli, Nuria Krämer (culture and art), stadt raum verkehr (traffic)

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