The interplay between forest and clearing form the atmospheric structure of the new „Kurwaldpark“ – a historical health resort park in Bad Lippspringe. It is a permeable membrane of historical forest blocks, park windows and long stretches of grasses. The dense existing forest is interwoven with a sequence of simple and clear spatial sceneries. They introduce light, air and space into the forest. These interventions offer new perspectives and ways of connecting to the forest, without compromising the forest’s aura of mystique and magic.
With the park’s new identity it’s become a unique trait for the city of Bad Lippspringe. The project is an example of a new approach to designing forested areas near settlements. The park forms an integral part in the network of settlement, historical health resort and recreational space. It acts not only as a spatial but also as an atmospherical connection of the surrounding area. The wide array of activities within the park redefines the historical health resort as a public recreational area usable for all and all year round.
Prelude: Kaiser-Karls-Park and Große Kurpromenade
The central axis of the existing „Kurpark“ was reinterpreted with a new contemporary design – while maintaining the historical course of the path. Two axis extend the idea of the „Kurpromenade“ toward the north and the east. In the centre of the park the former water basin was expanded and displays water fountains. The water basin with it’s surrounding square leads to a 2-lane promenade lined with spectacular perennials and seating below old trees. Towards the north and the east of the park the perennials gradually become more simple and natural. The number of enduring perennials, with a tendency to merge with the forest increases towards these more natural areas. An exchanging floral composition of annuals and shrubs in the central area of the park is on continuous display.
A new Typology of Park: The Forest Park
The basic structure of the park is based upon the historical layout of the orthogonally oriented forest blocks. Aligning with the historical layout, existing paths in and around the park were improved upon and new paths were added. Clear spatial sceneries of different intensities are woven into the dense existing forest. However recurring materials throughout the different areas reunite the perception of the park as a whole. They introduce light, air and space into the forest, without compromising the forest’s aura of mystique and magic.
Ecology and Topography: The clearings
The „Meersmannteiche“ ponds between the dunescapes were not visible at the time of the design process. Now they are reintegrated as a central part of the landscape ensemble. The existing trees were thinned to provide softly contoured views and open lawns for picknicking, playing and recreation.
Through this, the relief of the landscape becomes perceptible once again and sun can reach the perennials and bodies of water while single trees enrichen the parkscape. The restored ponds are accessible via pedestals. On the peak of a large dune, seating is provided enabling a wide view.
Of Elves and Trolls: The playgrounds
All playground elements are unique designs – developed directly on site, they are home to their surrounding. Signs hinting at the existence of fantastical beings dwelling in the forest can be found throughout the park – hints of fairies and elves, trolls and ogres.
Role of the office in the project:
Landscape design and planning work phases 2-9 HOAI
photo: © Philip Winkelmeier
Planning of technical facilities
Participation in forestry measures
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
EiSat GmbH, Ingenieurbüro, Berlin
Design year: from 2014
Year Built: 2017