21 apr. 2009
Location : Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Client : Development Company of Nordrhein-Westfalen and the city of Duisburg
Construction Date : 1991-2000
Architects : Latz and Partners
Awards : Winner of the 1990 international competition
Site Area : Park - over 200 hectares
Former industrial site - 20 hectares
Served population : 100 000 people living north of Duisburg
In 1991 a co-operative-concurrent planning procedure with five international planning teams was held to design the park. Peter Latz’s design was significant, as it attempted to preserve as much of the existing site as possible (Diedrich, 69). Unlike his competitors, Latz recognized the value of the site’s current condition (Weilacher, 106). He allowed the polluted soils to remain in place and be remediated through phytoremediation, and sequestered soils with high toxicity in the existing bunkers. He also found new uses for many of the old structures, and turned the former sewage canal into a method of cleansing the site
The site was designed with the idea that a grandfather, who might have worked at the plant, could walk with his grandchildren, explaining what he used to do and what the machinery had been used for. At Landschaftspark, memory was central to the design. Various authors have addressed the ways in which memory can inform the visitor of a site, a concept that became prevalent during Postmodernism.
“Curitiba has a master planned transportation system, which includes lanes on major streets devoted to a bus rapid transit system. The buses are long, split into three sections (bi-articulated), and stop at designated elevated tubes, complete with disabled access. There is only one price no matter how far you travel and you pay at the bus stop. The system, used by 85% of Curitiba’s population, is the source of inspiration for the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia, Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador,as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles, California, and for a future transportation system in Panama City, Panama.
The city has also paid careful attention to preserving and caring for its green areas, boasting 54 m² of green space per inhabitant. At the Park Bariguí, the second largest urban park in Brazil, one can find sheep grazing on the periphery. Why, might you ask? Sheep are a lot less expensive than full-time workers and the grass it provides is enough to keep them fed and happy on the job. Other social projects are in place to encourage the growth of green living, such as a long-running recycling program and a waste-for-food exchange between the government and the poorest residents. All around Curitíba, one can take notice of the ways in which abandoned buildings and would-be parks were transformed into ‘creativity centers’ and even the city’s opera house, Ópera de Arame, situated in the Parque das Pedreiras (Pictured below).
Free Educational Centers
At the same time the city implemented its one-fare system, it also began a project called the “Faróis de Saber” (Lighthouses of Knowledge). These Lighthouses are free educational centers which include libraries, Internet access, and other cultural resources. Job training, social welfare and educational programs are coordinated, and often supply labor to improve the city’s amenities or services, as well as education and income. Due to these ‘Lighthouses’, Curitiba boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the country.”
I recently came across a very interesting short 15-minute documentary in English which reinforces what I’ve said in the previous post. It’s simply brilliant.
16 apr. 2009
A red carpet flows all around the buildings, recreating places to relax, places to converse, places to park, fountains, even fake cars you can climb on.
It’s an amazing project that brings life to the city.
15 apr. 2009
Moving the airport to the Erdinger Moos made it possible to realise the municipal council’s courageous decision to build a suburb named after the new trade fair: Messestadt Riem. On the 560- hectare grounds of the airport, this meant setting up trade fair facilities, employment for 13,000 people and housing for 16,000, and of course a large landscape park intended to link the new city district to the surrounding municipalities.
An international ideas and realisation competition was held in 1995 for the “Landscape Park Riem” on the southern third of the former airport.
The very extensive and multi-level competition programme called for a timely park design that takes recreation, landscape composition and ecology into consideration. The first prize was awarded to the design by Latitude Nord of Paris.
The landscape architects Gilles Vexlard and Laurence Vacherot understood how to represent the woodlands of the southeast of Munich and the open fields of the northeast in the park in the form of broad expanses of meadows subdivided by forest masses, with the addition of tree clusters, strips of trees and individual trees. The diagonal structure of the plantings and pathways is oriented on the historical boundaries of the lots that left their imprint on the land before the airport was built. The park is open in all directions and joins up the new Messestadt Riem with the bordering municipalities.
Running east west, a 180-metre-wide strip for various activities extends for 2.5 kilometres between the new Messestadt and the new park landscape. This contains recreational facilities for active uses, with areas for games and sports; in the east, the strip leads to a ten-hectare lake designed for swimming and to two geometrically shaped sledding and lookout hills composed mainly of rubble from the demolished airport. In the west are four large Sunken Gardens. Other beds of perennial plantings are
in the Parallel Gardens.
Most of the southern part of the park is designed to closely resemble the natural landscape, mostly consisting of lean grassland, meadows with a wealth of plant species and areas of woody perennials. Especially striking is the long extended meadow of perennials with an aspect predominantly of iris and mint on the south shore of the lake. The plants in the park correspond to the indigenous plant communities of the Munich gravel plain’s natural area.
Important aspects of the park design are the proportions and perspectives
with which it stages the breadth. The arrangement of the trees creates spaces and sequences of spaces that give the park depth. Over 20,000 trees were arranged according to a detailed planting plan; some of these blocks of trees were planted on raised beds of earth to provide the experience of different heights. The pathways are superimposed over the plantings as an independent layer. They form extended straight lines or axes and underscore the experience of breadth. On clear days you can see the Alps south of the park.
One of the important architectural elements in the park is the terrace wall that delimits the strip of activities. Inserted at regular intervals are 193 bronze plaques with aerial views of landscapes all around the world on the same latitude of 48°09’ as Munich. The landscape architect Gilles Vexlard comments: “The basic idea with the park is to create a place that
expresses the influence of the human intellect. A place that also brings to mind that a park is a human creation and comes about through a human decision.”
Riemer Park was inaugurated during the 2005 National Garden Festival in Munich and has been open since the spring of 2006 for unlimited access to Munich residents and their guests. Not all park visitors so far have made friends with the dimensions of the park and the axial pathways. But when the trees have been given time to grow and when the intended
spatial effects and compositions come about, people will appreciate that a generous design that can do without little designed bits and pieces was realised here.