Plantage Potsdam-multi coded: From Lenné to Max Dortu

The historical ground is one of three green-dominated squares in the heart of Potsdam part of Potsdam’s inner city preservation area. The former swampland was used since 18. century as a mulberry plantation (Plantage). During urban extension in Baroque times, the area was used for military and court facilities (stables, riding arena, horse sick bay, parade ground). In 1850 it was designed by Peter Josef Lennée, the famous german landscape architect and -artist and the general director of Royal Prussian Gardens as a generous, inviting green space offering a central open space as parade ground framed by lime tree-rows.

In World War II the square was destroyed including the framing architecture. At the end of the 60s, a centre for data processing was built, ignoring the historical urban structures. The open spaces were destroyed, transformed and left in a bad shape today.

The surrounding quarter will now be developed as a residential area in combination with workspaces. The first part of the historical framing architecture was rebuilt in a modern way.

Therefore a competition in landscape architecture was executed in 2016 aiming for a representative, urban high-quality recreational area. The main open space functions concerning sports and motion for the schoolkids of the adjacent Max Dortu elementary school coming along with a substantial schoolchild participation process. The design of hutterreimann LA picks up the double framing of lawn areas and lime tree rows, Lennés former main design motive. Urban structural lines and axes of a historical water channel and the „Langer Stall“ (the framing architecture) are shifted parallel between each other in a playful way. This leads to a twist of Inside and outside. The existing, historical lime tree frame remains and is complemented, important trees of the older and younger (post-war) past are integrated. The green framing encloses the square to all sides creating a quiet buffer to the surrounding traffic, to the residential areas and to the intensive used square. A second frame of tarmac serves as a belt walk for pedestrians and inline-scater offering as well the 100 and 400 m running-track for school sports. Long concrete benches accentuate this frame. Inside a protected multifunctional area of rubber offers diverse playgrounds and sports and leisure elements. A sports ground for football, handball, basketball, volleyball, long jump, table tennis, trampolines and much more was implemented.

Gravel areas underneath the existing trees offer boule spaces. The playground „Data-Hall“ (medalled by German playground-price, second Range) refers to the former site use during the last 50 years.
The eastern part of the Plantage is shaped as a sloped lawn with a gym space for the school kids framed by planting beds along the east border to the residential street.

The „Small Plantation“ a regular grove of trees covers the lawn offering shadow and seasonable aspects from blossoms to fall foliage reminding of the ancient mullberry plantation. Here a bright garden atmosphere is created, the soft-figured concrete „Meadow pillows“ inviting you to sit down and enjoy a relaxing stay.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: hutterreimann Landschaftsarchitektur

Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Perennial Planning: Christian Meyer, Berlin
City planning for hutterreimann: Stoellger Liehr Partnerschaft, Techniker- und Ingenieurbüro für Freianlagen, Berlin

Year completed: 2020

Photo credits: © Lichtschwärmer

Manufacturer of urban or play equipment: Planung Spielgeräte: spielAHOI – Tilman Stachat, Berlin

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