Main through-road, Baiersbronn - DE

Successful design: From a simple thoroughfare to an urban showcase project

Baiersbronn in the northern Black Forest, in the district of Freudenstadt. The largest tourist municipality and the second largest municipality in Baden Württemberg, in terms of area, is famous for its haute cuisine beyond the state borders thanks to its excellent top gastronomy. A paradise for thoseseeking relaxation and for gourmets.

Baiersbronn is located directly on federal road 462, right next to the famous Black Forest High Road (B500) and therefore on one of the central tourist tangents in internationally sought-after holiday region. As a result, the municipality and the commissioned planer attached great importance to creating a sustainable passageway with a very pleasant atmosphere during the realignment of the Baiersbronn thoroughfare, despite the volume of traffic.

“Regarding the redesign of the main thoroughfare, we can almost speak of a revolutionary idea, (...) to transform a simple, highly frequented strip of asphalt into an urban showcase project”, is how the mayor Michael Ruf assesses the successful modification of the street “Freudenstädter Straße” in his community. The lower village of Baiersbronn is the arrival, transit and distribution point. These central functions also had tovisually be done justice to and so, the preparations for the large-scale redesign began as early as 2015.

© Hess

The participation of the citizens of Baiersbronn was an important factor. Their ideas and wishes were to be included. After all, the renovation was not only about a technical upgrade but rather, the focus was a visible and lasting increase in the attractiveness of the lower village. A promenade should be created along the street and the pedestrian area in front of the shops should be expanded. At the same time, vehicle parking spots were incorporated and a greater emphasis was placed on greenery.

Overall, the entire area was to be made more attractive for pedestrians and be more actively used. Through the integration of a landscaped “centre strip” consisting of individual green islands, the lanes were physically separated from one another and thus crossing the street was also made pedestrian-friendly.

Also of importance for the urban planning was the widening of the Forbach, which runs through the area, in the course of flood protection measures and the accompanying creation of a simplified access to its banks – an invitation to linger and relax.

The street lighting was also to set highlights complementing this new appearance. The requirement was to use luminaires that are not only capable of bathing the “Freudenstädter Straße” in an excellent light at night, but also to emphasise the high-quality atmosphere of the outdoor space during the day with a clear and minimalist design.

Our VILLAGE 300 pole-mounted luminaire was chosen, which perfectly blends into the new and harmoniously designed townscape – and sets accents itself. The cylindrical luminaire head with 5 circumferential rings has a LEVO3 LED module with an output of 37 W or. 53W. What’s more, the luminaires are dimmed up to 50% of their output via StepDIM.

The community’s special wish was to install poles with reinforced walls, which have also have Schuko plug sockets for the annual Christmas lighting, for example. We were happy to fulfil this wish and therefore strong winds and snow loads are no problem – even when Christmas lighting is used at the same time.

In addition to the VILLAGE 300 luminaires, 39 RUBY R in-ground spotlights in RGBW from our sister company Griven were also installed – all in the landscaped centre strip of the road. These provide a truly atmospheric illumination including ideal staging of the trees and plants – individually and depending on the season and in a wide variety of colour shades.

Thus the “Freudenstädter Straße” in Baiersbonn has developed into a chic and atmospheric section of the road, that has also become a pleasant place to spend time and which gives the municipality a new and unmistakable character.

Interview: From a strip of asphalt to a showcase project

Baiersbronn, a “feel-good community in the Black Forest”, recently transformed a rather dreary main through-road into an urban showcase project, further enhancing ist attractiveness and appeal. We spoke with Michael Ruf, the mayor of the municipality of Baiersbronn, about the more than successful re-development project.

Michael Ruf
Mayor of the municipality of Baiersbronn

Mr. Ruf, Baiersbronn is certainly one of the most famous tourist communities in Baden-Württemberg. What role did this play in the redesign of the main thoroughfare?

A very central roll. The “Freudenstädter Street” (Freudenstädter Straße) is, so to speak, our visiting card for arriving guests as well as people who are merely passing through our municipality. Until now, the street design was rather bleak and not very appealing.

How did you involve the citizens of your municipality?

Straight from the beginning of the redevelopment of the area, there was a comprehensive planning process in which citizens were highly involved. For the respective construction phases, informational evenings or workshops were repeatedly offered, in which the public participated. During the construction phase, there was a monthly construction site meeting at which the current status was presented.

How were their wishes implemented within the framework of the planning?

Every effort was made to try and include the wishes and suggestions in the planning. Naturally, there were limits, where street and traffic law-related concerns conflicted with these. However, a compromise was always sought, especially with the residents.

“It was always our goal to make the local “greenery” that is present in the village a more tangible experience.“

Environmental protection today, more than ever, is an essential factor in the new development or redevelopment of cities and municipalities. How important was the “green idea” to you?

It was always our goal to make the local “greenery” that is present in the village a more tangible experience. By designing the street space with trees and plants, this area has become decidedly friendlier. A grey, dreary asphalt dessert has given way to a blooming, colourful flower-filled landscape.

What were the fundamental goals of the lighting concept?

The goal was to use a successful concept to give the “Freudenstädter Street” a significance beyond its borders, also in terms of lighting. The special character should remain and be experienced in the evening and at night.

What was the decisive reason that you chose the VILLAGE 300 luminaire from Hess?

We were looking for a luminaire that had a certain elegance, modernity and quality but at the same time, did not have too much of an urban design. The VILLAGE 300 luminaire combines exactly the things which perfectly fit to Baiersbronn.

The illumination of the landscaped median strip is certainly a (further) highlight. Where did you get the idea and how are you utilising the possibility of colour changes today?

We got the idea on an informational visit, with parts of the municipal council, to the company Hess in Villingen. We were there to make a selection from the wide variety of luminaires. We then came across the possibility of in-ground spotlights, which the board and I were immediately enthusiastic about. Today we use different colours and moods, depending of the time of year.

“Every day when I drive on this part of the street, I am pleased with the appearance and the effect.”

How was the lighting concept received by the population?

The new design of the street lighting was very well received. In the beginning, there was a heated debate about which colour should be chosen for the centre island. But that of course, is a matter of taste.

What importance does this constructional measure have for you personally / how do you evaluate it?

Personally, I am happy that I was able to be part of the planning and realisation of this important infrastructure measure. Every day when I drive on this part of the street, I am pleased with the appearance and the effect.

What is your next big project?

Currently, we are involved in further projects within the course of the redevelopment of the lower village of Baiersbronn. At the same time, we have additional projects for the implementation of the “TAL X Freudenstadt & Baiersbron State Garden Show 2025” which means a further improvement of the urban development situation in Baiersbronn.

Mr. Ruf, thank you very much for your time.

Project information

Lighting design
Hess GmbH Licht + Form, Planstatt Senner
Municipality of Baiersbronn
Landscape architect
Planstatt Senner