Berlin, 2008

For many years, the „Universum-Landes-Ausstellungspark“(ULAP), with its large hall and gardens, was a popular place for all sorts of activities in the middle of Berlin. After the Berlin Wall was built the area was abandoned and left to the forces of nature. Lush vegetation developed over a period of two decades, with trees overgrowing the large entrance stairs. After the opening of the borders and the German reunification the decision to build Berlin’s new main station at this place was made. This led to the area being once again a central spot in Berlin. A contest was held in hopes of finding a sustainable concept for the area.

The concept captures the urban characteristics of its surroundings and creates a new urban open space between the train viaduct, future building sites and the streets. New plants and trees were added to the existing stand to complete the green area. The undergrowth was cleared and the trees cut back, which created a “green hall” referring to the former exhibition buildings. A thin layer of gravel makes the uneven surface accessible. The slope towards the street is planted with grasses and shrubs in order to maintain the lush vegetative character of the area. Even a large part of the trees on the historic stairs are kept in place for maximum authenticity.

Benches are placed in-between the newly planted trees and structure the depth of field. The wooden panelling of the benches corresponds with the forest-like atmosphere of the area. The illumination of these elements at night time contributes to orientation and security.

client: Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Abt. Städtebau und Projekte, Hauptstadtreferat
area: 1.3 ha
competition (1. prize): 2005
completion: 2008