Client: IBA – Internationale Bauausstellung and City of Heidelberg
Date: 2017
Status: Third Prize
Program: Transforming a former military base (Campbell Barracks) into an open park for the city.
Scope: ‘Der Andere Park’ two phases competition – Proposal for urban design, landscaping and participatory approach.

The international ‘Der Andere Park’ competition set the challenge of transforming the open spaces of a former military base (the Campbell Barracks) into an open park for the city of Heidelberg, within the scope of a master plan that aims to turn the area into a mixed-use neighborhood.

‘Spielraum’, the name of our proposal, has a double meaning: it refers to a playful approach that would compensate the existing military order, and at the same time to a certain “leeway” in the way public space would be developed, allowing citizens to become part of the process and to influence its outcomes.

Three main elements articulate our proposal:

Game board (Spielbrett): The ground intervention consists on a series of semi-pedestrian pathways that connect the whole area, concentrating the investment along the center of the open spaces, and leaving the borders to be kept as gardens or other existing surfaces. Urban elements (urban furniture, street lighting, vegetation, etc.) are ‘plugged in’ along those pathways. This is the basis on top of which the ‘game pieces’ will be developed.

Game pieces and players (Spielfiguren und Spieler): A series of playgrounds and playful objects are proposed in key points of the area to attract people around different uses, activating the surrounding public space. Each of them has a main theme addressed at different social groups like children, teenagers, adults, elderly, neighbors or visitors.

Game rules (Spielregeln): The final design of each playful element will be defined by a ‘participatory loop’, a focused participatory process with selected stakeholders. All those ‘loops’, together with the overarching process that connects the into a coherent urban development scheme, are what we refer to as the ‘game rules’. An opportunity for Heidelberg to continue and extend its tradition of citizen involvement in urban matters, and for citizens to define the uses, the conditions and the design qualities of their public spaces.

The main five public spaces in the area get their own identity, ranging from a green park to a very urban square. The whole proposal also takes care of other aspects like redirecting traffic around the area, designing a better way to ease up the traffic and pedestrian crossings of the Römerstrasse (main avenue crossing the area), increasing vegetation, providing rainwater collection solutions, or integrating the historical traces of the barracks in the new design.

Here you can see the full panels submitted to the last phase of the competition

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