Farmers’ market, Zella-Mehlis - DE

A living room for Zella-Mehlis

Mayor Richard Rossel inaugurated the newly designed marketplace, of the town centre in southern Thüringer Wald, with the words “Welcome to the living room of Zella-Mehlis.” Attractiveness, security, a forward-looking approach – Today, the Zella-Mehlis market stands for all of these things.

Attractiveness, security, a forward-looking approach – The citizens of Zella-Mehlis wished for precisely these attributes, within the framework of a competition in which their ideas and concepts were asked for, at the beginning of the planning phase of the construction project “Weekly farmers’ market on the Heinrichsbach”. In addition to parking areas and water features, the wish list also included reduction of traffic congestion and accessibility as well as artistic aspects of space design. Starting point: The grey, ageing area of town was in need of a comprehensive redevelopment and redesign that was implemented from spring 2017 until summer 2020. The Mehlis market with the bordering square areas, fulfils several functions which had to be considered in the implementation. The location of the weekly farmers’ market is an area which is also used for town-centre parking and as a venue for events and a place to meet and greet. This diversity of requirements also had to be taken into consideration in the lighting, which had to fulfil these requirements. Standard-compliant illumination, power supply, WiFi access point, camera – The multifunctional RENO ELEMENTS from Hess offers all these application possibilities and many more.

© Peter Baum

The result is: A total of 10 illuminating columns, each with a height of 5 m, enhance the location with their clear and pure look. The striking design increases the attractiveness of the square during the day and give it additional character. The efficient LED modules ensure security, visibility and perfect illumination at night. Additional URBAN spotlights, that are integrated in some of the columns, set design accents and illuminate the pedestrian walkways.

Opening up the stream that runs through it was also one of the central concerns in the citizens’ idea competition. Large steel fisher sculptures, designed by architect Hagen Höllering and created in the blacksmith’s shop of the artist Dr. Ulrich Barnickel, now give the bank a special charisma and transform the urban space into an inspiring place to linger. Further elements of the new design include atmospheric lighting effects for the benches, for which six of our innovative ACCADIA L300 in-ground spotlights were integrated and their asymmetrical reflectors precisely adapted to the conditions on site.

Our REGULUS tree grates and METOR tree guards were used to round off the modern and elegant appearance of the newly designed marketplace as well as to protect the newly planted trees. In perfect combination with our highquality waste receptacles (PUNTO model) for keeping the area clean and tidy. All in all, a living room has indeed been created in Zella-Mehlis– A modern, smart square with a pleasant atmosphere, that fulfils the wishes of the citizens and improves the townscape in an impressive way as well. The project was subsidised by funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Interview: A multifunctional oasis of well-being

The engineering office IGS INGENIEURE GmbH & Co. KG Weimar / Zella-Mehlis office was in charge of planning the lighting concept of the newly designed weekly marketplace on the “Heinrichsbach” creek. Graduate engineer Matthias Eschrich supervised the project.

Matthias Eschrich Dipl.-Ing. (FH)

Mr. Eschrich, the planning for the redevelopment of the weekly marketplace on the “Heinrichsbach” creek began in 2017. When we look at the photographs of the original state, it’s hard to believe what the square once looked like. What ideas were behind the redesign?

The town “caretaking task force” from Zella Mehlis wanted to transform the weekly marketplace into a high quality town square with multiple uses. First and foremost, a place to linger and relax as well as a meeting place for citizens of all age groups should be created. The development and opening of the “Heinrichsbach” creek as a natural element and also a habitat for insects, was a significant aspect of creating a green space in the town.

Additionally, the planning included the use of the square as a venue for special festivities, like neighbourhood festivals, a possible use for merchants in the context of markets and, of course, as a parking lot for cars, campers, electric vehicles and motorbikes.

The three fisherman figures, by the sculptor Dr. Ulrich Barnickel, were to be a further highlight of the square.

„The involvement of the citizens was a very important part of the project planning."

How important was the involvement of the town citizens to you?

The involvement of the citizens was a very important part of the project planning. The town administration organized a joint idea search for the redesign: “Your idea for your town” As part of the kick-off event in the summer of 2014, a large question mark was set up on the square and the citizens were called to pin their ideas, wishes and suggestions there.

After four months of collecting ideas, the suggestions were processed and summarized in a joint workshop. In the process, it became clear that there was a broad consensus regarding the redesign and future function of the square. On the basis of this brainstorming, the project was finally conceived and an invitation to tender was issued in the spring of 2019.

Has the involvement of citizens been well received and have their ideas been realised?

Both the kick-off party and the workshop to develop the project concept enjoyed active participation. On Urban Development Promotion Day in May 2017, the planning was presented once again and building and town tours were offered. It was possible to consider all of the ideas submitted by the citizens.

When designing the square, you opted for a luminaire with an extraordinary daytime effect – the smart RENO ELEMENTS. Why?

The aim of the lighting design was to create another highlight for Zella-Mehlis and the surrounding area, in addition to the previous high-profile projects “Train Station / Town Hall Square / Mehlis Market”. All requirements for a modern and sustainable smart city project should also be fulfilled.

According to the town’s specifications, the luminaires were to make an important contribution to the perception and enhancement of the weekly marketplace alongside the other urban planning and artistic elements. It was about the modern provision of the square with a luminaire that stands out for its form but also for its function.

What were your requirements for the lighting, namely the night effect?

The focus was on lighting the square in accordance with standards, highlighting the fishermen and seating elements and illuminating the connecting path leading across the square, as well as illuminating a tree in the area of the access road to the square. Insect-friendly lighting without glare for the neighbouring buildings was also important for the project. With its linear and angular appearance, the RENO ELEMENTS embody a modern and striking luminaire design, which is nevertheless absolutely timeless. For a cozy impression of the square during the evening and night hours, we chose the warm white light colour 3000 K. The night-time dimming of the luminaires, during the dark hours with limited traffic, also enables sizeable energy savings.

The RENO ELEMENTS is a luminaire designed for multifunctionality. Why was that important to you and what was installed in addition to “light”?

We definitely want a smart square. Due to its design, the RENO ELEMENTS could be equipped with all of the elements necessary for the electrotechnical supply of the square: For example, with a WiFi module, two pre-fittings for a laterinstallation of video cameras, also CEE and Schuko plug sockets with the corresponding FI and LS circuit breakers for a flexible, safe and powerful electric supply to the merchants. Additionally, the URBAN LED recessed luminaire was integrated into the RENO ELEMENTS.

The weekly marketplace is now a “smart” square. What does this mean to you?

All participants worked together to implement a further unique building project in the town of Zella-Mehlis and to place another highlight alongside the previous major projects in the town. Personally, when I see the square, especially in the evening hours, I am happy that our team, together with the town of Zella-Mehlis and the contractors, has succeeded in making a valuable contribution to the modernization of the town and has increased the quality of life. In addition, our engineering office has another reference object, which will help us acquire further smart city projects in the future.

„On the one hand, the square is a further oasis of wellbeing in the town. On the other hand, it can be used for a variety of functions."

What are your first experiences and impressions in relation to the acceptance and the usage of the new square?

On the one hand, the square is a further oasis of well-being in the town. On the other hand, it can be used for a variety of functions. For the citizens, it is now a meeting place for entertainment, recreation, a place where people can have their needs met and children can play – a place for families!

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

Project information

Town / Country
Zella-Mehlis, Germany
Lighting design
Matthias Eschrich
Zella-Mehlis office
City of Zella-Mehlis
Landscape architect
Hagen Höllering
Dr. Schmidt Planungsgesellschaft