More and more often, today, public spaces seem to be places which repel humans and are devoid of human dimension. That is, public spaces are often places designed more like monuments than spaces which nurture people.
A public playground in Berlin has taken the latter approach by designing this space with the local context and inhabitants into account, placing them at the centre of the design concept. It’s a simple but innovative shift.
KALA Square is situated in Berlin, between Hildegard Jadamowitz Street, Lasdehner Street and Kadiner Street, close to Frankfurter and Karl Marx Avenues, in the midst of the Friedrichshain. It is located on a former industrial area which was partially destroyed during the war.
The architects wanted to ‘rescue’ a number of dimensions or values with the project, including:
- Beauty, but also a place for meeting and spending time together.
- Simplicity, using the metaphor of a islands with space flowing around them.
- Sea Island – a playground with a polar theme.
- A river island – incorporating pathways and through-space, making it a place to pass through and where people can also stop and rest on their way somewhere. Here the structure operates in a multifunctional way: as a border, as bench, as seat, bridge, resting area, table and so on.
- The vegetation has been carefully chosen to be deciduous in order to provide shade in the summer and light in the winter.
Architect: Rehwaldt LA, Dresden
Builder: City Administration of Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Photo credit: “www.landarchs.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Landscape Architects Network.