The redesign of the 30,000 m2 Esbjerg Bypark is a creative and artistic approach based on the site-specific qualities of the existing historic park including the topographical conditions, existing mature vegetation and proximity to the harbor. As such, the design aims to respect the significant characteristics of the existing park while generating a fresh vision for the future of the park and the heart of Esbjerg.
A central design element was the intensive utilization of the dramatic topographic situation. Highlighting the exaggerated slope and curvilinear topography, carved into the landscape is a stepped amphitheater for 2,500 park visitors. The stepped terrain faces out to an extensive and uninterrupted view of the harbor. At the base of the amphitheater is a sunken building whose roof acts as the central stage. The building is to be used for event equipment and is accessed by the main road to the south.
Another design focus is on the artistic and playful water elements, which highlight the differentiated topography of the park and anchor the focal programmatic elements in space. In so doing, a concrete reference to the historic narrative is made, whereby creating a specific connection of city to harbor. As such, the stage is multipurpose and acts as a playful water fountain in summer and as an ice rink in winter. To the east where the playground has been redesigned, an elevated ring element acts as an informal boundary, while in warm months it is filled in the center with water to create a canal like play feature. A third water element is used as a welcoming feature to the park and the opera, which sits in its core.
Adding additional programmatic opportunities, repurposed bunkers offer various uses such as a café, bicycle repair shop and a museum.