The urban sector has been extended and condensed beyond limits and barriers within the second half of the century. Constantly new social demands and interests make this development appear everlasting and cover the already overloaded public area with constantly new functional factors, which have influence on the sensitivity of the town. A project of this nature is the new route D-Süd:
In 1995 the ÜSTRA Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe AG/ Hannover competition to find the optimal solution to the route which public transport will provide to the main link to the EXPO 2000. We presented the awarded plan of a platform system, which as an integral part of an integrated conception of sensuous dialogue with the urban area. The conception of the plan has thus been developed from a critical analysis of the urban infrastructure: the given route passes grown, already repeatedly coded urban structures with particularly individual characteristics, and demands a direct EXPO after-use by connecting large old and new settlement areas.
Being a project of external as well as internal complexity, it offers advanced standards of passenger information and equipment. These quantities of influence result in a custom-made reinterpretation of this type of traffic construction: blocks constructed substractively, which integrate all functions and transform the stops isolated on traffic islands into comfortable alcove-like stays for the passengers, define the significance of the structure. Thus the resulting volume functions as well as character coding by the area-specific and individualistically interpreted block covers, displaying the most delicate detailing, which is commitment to the idea of the project. The uncompromising area-combining integration of all composing elements, its analogous function barrowed from kitchen blocks, serves beside the optimized aspect of orientation and recognition, above all this aspect of a lasting effect. The platform itself, a steel sheet covered with stone, guarantees a barrier-less and greatest possible sectional view of the streets, as the surrounding traffic moves below its level.
Variety within units, the route D-Süd functions as a public transportation artery between city centre and EXPO-terrain, in accordance with its particular intended purpose. As a concept: earth / ground connected solids rotate with voids that let the surrounding terrain path underneath. This modular combination of a floating steel platform with a free eligible number of six types of waiting blocks takes the demands of serial production and standardization into account. Besides economic aspects of minimized construction and maintenance, this above all serves the support for orientation by recognizing and identification of a "specific" route. The waiting blocks, effective as punctures in the urban space, code the uniform principle from station to station with the varying block covers. From the view of the visitors/passengers, the character lines of each individual location result in a lively choreography, which dramatizes the terminus of the EXPO areal. Serving elements are integrated in the waiting blocks to optimize orientation and vandalism protection. Safety and openness towards the traffic area, comfortably sculptured waiting blocks convey and offer protection against wind, rain, and pollution, which occur directly in the back of the waiting people. On the other hand, the loose rhythmical order of the blocks, designed narrowest in the access direction, allow at the same time an optional overall view in the mobile surroundings, and therefore are enough to fulfill the demands on social safety. They possess a warmer, more intimate profile than the "hard" traffic area.