During our 4th week in Germany we have dedicated this time to do our design charette. The project site we are working on is Westpark, in Bochum, Germany. It is a post-industrial site that was dedicated to the steel industry. This site is a functional public space with recreational lawn, a restaurant, and a large building used to hold musical events. This space is very large and there are many different spots for activities as well as leisure. It is an interesting park because there is a space very inaccessible to visitors, but is a place where the locals can access. This is in the northeast corner of the site.
Our task as designers was to create a space for people to access and enjoy this northeast corner of the site. The site includes inactive, abandoned rail lines as well as 1 active train line that intersects the access path where the locals are coming to enter the site. My team developed the idea of creating microclimates are linked with the rest of the park through a continuous water system. German culture embraces the industrial aesthetic and man-made engineered systems are very common in the landscape of Germany. We wanted to embrace this post-industrial, 4th nature aesthetic and continue it very visibly throughout our design area. The design task also dealt with SoundScapes, which is the major project we are dealing with. To create multiple soundscapes with high biophonies and low anthrophonies, we are using the microclimate sites we have created to generate these pleasant soundscapes. In addition, we have also created a sound-installation that will generate pleasant geophonic sounds by using wind. This sound installation will be a man-made teepee-like structure, also doubling as an open-air shelter area. Located at the large hill 28 meters high, the high wind will blow through pipes in the sound-installation and generate organ-like noises that can be heard as visitors ascend up the hill. Inspired by the Wave Organ in San Fransisco, these pipes will be running through the soil of the hill and let out among the path that leads to the top. Wind-chimes made with wood and metal will also be a sound-generating material. Fabric will be used as well to create soft low pressure noises.
At the end of the 3 days of design charette, we were tasked to create a presentation with renderings, a site plan, ecological development ideas, analysis and soundscape planning ideas to our professors, as well as a professor from Templehof University and 2 of his students working on SoundScapes. Overall everything went very well and it was worth all the hard work and staying up late to create our designs.
I am looking forward to the rest of this week at Duisborg-Nord park, another post-industrial park. I have visited this site before and I am glad will be ending the trip on a very fun note. Stay tuned for pictures.