POLA: Initiated by the city and selected through an international competition in 2008, POLA suggested with the Georgswall a new approach towards historic city preservation and garden heritage. Identification instead of reconstruction was the overarching theme. After 5 decades of ignoring the capacity of the small city park besides the Mayor Muller Plaza, a landfill of the former city harbor, both places now attracts people again. People who not only have to go or pass this place on their daily errands, but want to be there on purpose. The redesign of the Mayor Muller Plaza is the centerpiece in the ongoing renovation of the historic city and the Georgswall Park in Aurich (Germany).
The shape of the filled in basin is made visible on the surface of the plaza. Four pools with huge letters inside proclaim the former existence of the harbor. The words “OLL HAVEN AUERK” (Old harbor Aurich in low German) dive under the water surface, describing a sunken place. For the pavement, mostly used and given material were used for authenticity. By the setting up of the pools, the formerly harbor flanking buildings are brought back in their historical context. Besides that, the letters inside the pools are fragments of larger possibilities of a chapter in timeless history. Nevertheless the Mayor Muller Plaza represents the first shared spaces in northern Germany.
The adjoining Georgswall emphasizes, with its stretched out lawn and soft earth modeling, the former running of the canal ending at the basin. Accompanied with a small age-differentiated playground and a chain of benches and hedges, the park combines active participation with passive reflection. Twice a week the fountain play area, connecting the old and the new city part, makes place for the use of a farmer marked. The design integrates play value with landscape experience.
Project name: Georgswall & Mayor Muller Plaza
Location: Aurich (Germany)
Landscape Architecture: POLA:
Client: City of Aurich
Project size: 1,65 ha
Building costs: 4,3 Mio. EUR
Design period: 2008 – 2012
Construction period: 2012 – 2014