Eberswalde, northeast of Berlin, used to be an important centre in metallurgy and one of the earliest sites of industrialisation in Germany. Today the remains of a rolling mill, a horseshoe factory and a crane still bear witness to this epoch. In preparation for the State Horticultural Show of Brandenburg, a former industrial site from the early 19th century was to be redesigned and converted into a park.
Our design aimed at a new typology of park: the post-industrial landscape park. The challenge was to avoid industrial-historical romanticism, and to find a way to make the territory comprehensible in a manner that provides for orientation and for experiencing the historical evidence and the changes the site has undergone over the past 200 years.
For orientation the territory was mapped by a system of foot paths and a grid of sheet steel bands layed out across the area. The steel tapes of 40 centimetres in width describe slightly curved lines, some of them accompanied, others intersected by foot paths. Seen from above, e. g. from the platform of the crane, the pattern appears like meridians and parallels on a map which help to illustrate the expanse of the terrain. The choice of material refers to the ancient rolling mill’s production.
The new park also offers activities that are only possible because of the pre-existing historic structures: e. g. the subterranean canals of the mill’s water-cooling system were opened for pedal boat tours. We thereby managed to create a rather unexpected park that allows the visitors to feel the site’s history in a post-industrial setting.