Projektstudie Rheinhessen



Hechtsheim – One town, two faces. How did Hechtsheim develop its varying sides and how are they being maintained?

This work was designed to examine Hechtsheim’s different aspects which impart its unique character. On the one side, there is the original, old-fashionned town of Hechtsheim. It is equipped with many small streets and mostly one-storied houses, under a lot of rural influences, and provides many traditional festivals and clubs. On the other side, there is a new Hechtsheim. This modern side is equipped with bigger streets and partly high-rise buildings, it provides a very large industrial area, and is very closely connected to the city of Mainz by its strretcar system and the newly upgraded expressway.

In order to examine these two aspects and to come to a conclusion on if Hechtsheim is more affected by city-like influences or by rural influences, we took tour of Hechtsheim, talked to the district major and visited the “Weinfest am Kirchenstück”, one of Hechtsheim’s traditional festivals.

To back up the practical impressions which we gained by these activities, we tried to include facts of the historical development and theoretical facts respectively. The data shed light on the former situation of Hechtsheim, which still has an impact on Hechsheim as it exists today. There are many farmyards and manufacturer quarters which witness of Hechtseim’s earlier structure (with a medieval city wall which can be comprehended as running along the street “Ringstraße”). The farmyards are, in fact, still operated today and, therefore, contribute to the rural impression of the traditional part of Hechtsheim. Many city expansions (residential areas) and the creation of the big industrial area, however, strengthen the impressions that Hechtsheim (as a whole) is on its way to become a city. But exactly this mixture between old and new structure is what grants Hechtsheim’s uniqueness. It is the only town of the region that is so heavily influenced by urban effects and still maintains a partly rural character.

One of the main urban influences which affects Hechtsheim today is the reconstruction of the A60, an expressway which passes along Hechtsheims Northern parts. This should be carefully considered because the reconstruction, and thus the additional motorway exit, provide additional desirability for companies to settle in the industrial area. This closer connection to different areas and the city of Mainz likewise is, furthermore, enstrengthened by the expansion of Hechtsheim’s tramway. It does reach the newly constructed residential zone “Am Bürgerhaus” and, seemingly of even more importance, provides the additional station “Am Mühldreieck” which serves as a direct link to the industrial area and offers bus transportation to Hechtsheim’s exhibition zone. All these infrastractural measures help to provide a better connection to the city and consequently a higher desirability for company (and residential) settlements. If you consider these facts, Hechtsheim seems to be on its way of urbanization - of developing into a city.

The majors of Hechtsheim do, however, not only lay emphasis on this development, but also take measures to maintain the original structure. This policy of maintaining older structres can primarily be observed in the commercial farmyards which have been kept running for a long time now. The preservation of these farmyards helps to maintain the traditional sales of regional goods, which again help to display a rural character. This character is also maintained by the very small streets of this part of town and by numerous festivals. These festivals impart a very special atmosphere. The social gatherings help to connect the old-established and the newly arrived inhabitants and, consequently, advocate a strong connection among the community members. Keeping those traditional festivals also helps to keep other traditions and is, therefore, a part of the management strategy.

All in all, the traditions, as well as the progress, of Hechtsheim are to be regarded when talking about Hechtsheim. It is absolutely necessary to consider its traditions and values before making large decisions which determine Hechtsheims future structure. Otherwise, it could easily lose its uniqueness by neglecting traditions, old structures and individual, small markets.

List of Figures

Photo 1: The “Karthaeuserhof” in Hechtsheim’s traditional center

Photo 2: Hechtsheim’s Exhibition Center

Photo 3: Express company “Kayser”. One of the express companies in the South-West of Hechtsheim

Photo 4: Car dealership “Peugot” in the “Wilhelm-Maybach-Straße”

Photo 5: Residential area “Neue Mainzer Straße”

Photo 6: High-rise buildings in the residential area “Mühldreieck”, between “Rheinhessenstraße” and “Bürgermeister-Heinrich-Dreibus-Straße”

Photo 7: Terraced houses alongside the tramway rails

Photo 8: Main road of Hechtsheim’s center

Photo 9: Single houses of the residential area “Schinnergraben”

Photo 10: Central gyroscope of the residential area “Frankenhöhe” with its housing estate

Photo 11: Villa on the Hechtsheimer Höhe

Photo 12: Circularly applied tenements in the residential area “Vogelsbergstraße”

Photo 13: Car dealership “BMW” in the residential area “Vogelsbergstraße”

Photo 14: Single (pretty small) houses of the “Margraf-Fischer-Siedlung”

Photo 15: IBM company zone, between “Weisenau” and “Mz.-Oberstadt”

Photo 16: Bild vom Festumzug 1200 Jahre Hechtsheim.

Photo 17: Logo von Hechtsheim

Map 1: Survey map of  Hechtsheim’s different parts

Map 2: Map of Hechtsheim’s industrial area. Express companies and car dealerships marked.