From former deposit area to neighborhood resource

MASU Planning: Activity Landscape Kastrup is a former deposit area of excess soil and building materials, which was turned into a new neighborhood park. The long left-over patch of land in between the 80ies residential area Vægterparken and the metro tracks was transformed into a neighborhood resource, by developing the existing qualities and creating a new playful landscape.

Through a needlepoint strategy, we built upon the existing characteristics

The long, slim area of land has steep hills stemming from construction sites in the surroundings. There was no option to largely remodel the layout, so we designed from a strategy of ‘minimal investment – maximum output’. The existing conditions showed the potential for a super compact set of experiences, with a great outlook over the surrounding lands. When you have climbed up the steep, green rubber hill, you can gaze towards the sea and take in your accomplishment. Mixed meadow grass seeds were sown on the steep hillsides and are allowed to grow high and wild to minimize maintenance costs.

Safety in numbers

Before the transformation, the area was really a ‘non-site’, a leftover space by the train tracks that brought a sense of insecurity to the neighborhood. The nearby residents had concerns regarding the transformation – whether new users would bring more insecurity to the area. Today it’s clear that the playgrounds, gardens and running tracks definitely brought more people to the area but the more people that came, the safer the area felt. Through strategic planning of varied facilities, the park gained relevance for new user groups – and today, kindergartens from the surrounding daycare centers come to play, families come to picnic and runners get out of breath chasing up and down the hills.

Adults and children playing on the same level

In this project we wanted to challenge the fact, that too often playground activities make parents passive helpers for their children’s activities. The design philosophy was to create a park that inspires both children and adults to play- or do sports activities. At these steep rubber hills, children and adults can be equally challenged and conquer the hills together. A guiding, red path offers a discovery route through the area, where trees and bushes make smaller individually programmed areas and quiet spots.

The red path ties it all together

A looped path combines the sloping landscape with seven new thematic areas for play, quiet rest, sports and dog training. The new activity areas combine existing facilities with new and improved functions. The path is the red thread that ties it all together and leads you through the different themes. Winding between the plantation, going up and down the hills, the path beings new experiences and surprises around every corner.

Doing sports alone or in groups is part of the flexible plan. In the first part of the park, a ball court introduces the idea of active interaction. Alongside the ball court, the red path measures the distance you cover and is great for walking and running up and down the hills. In a quiet area tucked between the hillsides and the trees, a flower garden forms a quiet space, a pocket in the wilderness where children and adults can take a break and sit, enjoy the view, smell the roses and listen to the birds. The blue and green play areas challenge both children and adults, and, rather than being designed for one game, they create the framework for many activities, inspiring children of all ages to join in.

Office: MASU Planning

Location: Kastrup (Copenhagen), Denmark
Design year: 2013
Year of construction: 2015
Area: 15,000 m2
Budget: 4,500,000 DKR / 602,807 EUR
Client: Housing organization Tårnbyhuse
Image credits: Kirstine Autzen

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