Landscape Therapeutic Park

Landscape Therapeutic Park by Planergruppe Oberhausen and B.A.S. Kopperschmidt & Moczalla: In the forests of the German city of Brilon the innovative open space project “Landscape Therapeutic Park” was realized, including a spa park, a forest park and a therapeutic walking loop spanning an area of 4.5 hectares.

The project is surrounded by an open, gentle meadow valley and wooded, steep forest slopes in a characteristic way. The aim of the design is to highlight precisely this contrast. The spa park (“Kurpark”) is centrally located and includes direct access to a lake. It is surrounded by flat, blooming meadowlands featuring a barefoot trail and a beekeeper’s hive. In contrast to the wide meadows, the forest park (“Waldpark”) functions as its “introvert counterpoint”.
The highlight of the forest park is the „therapeutic walking loop“. Thirteen stations are associated with human moods such as clarity, overview, openness, harmony, confusion, attentiveness, contemplation, transparency and sublimity. A landscape window (“Landschaftsfenster”) serves as a prelude to the loop. A steel grotto bridge (“Grottensteg”) leads visitors past mystical caves and rock formations. Accompanied by the “fairy sounds” of an audio installation (“Feenklang”), the loop leads to five stances featuring a signature red paint finish. The view becomes even more impressive: a former ski jump was transformed into a spectacular viewpoint including a swing. Passing a vitalizing re-naturalized spring, visitors reach the path-spider (“Wegespinne”). This is a place for resting or contemplating the loop’s many twists and turns. The loop continues through a dense forest, past a red shimmering fairy wreath (“Feenkranz”) and a poet’s clearing (“Dichterlichtung”), perfect for deep thought and reflection. Comfortable hammocks invite visitors to rest their tired legs at the end of an inspiring hike.

© All images by Claudia Dreyße

Planergruppe Oberhausen: We design free and open spaces by making space perceptible and usable. We draw the attention to the existing qualities of (city) landscapes.
Our office was founded in Oberhausen (Germany) in 1973, and since the end of 2018 we are based in Essen and Hannover. Our focus is landscape architecture and we are active in all related contemporary topics. Our range of services extends from large-scale concepts to the planning of neighbourhoods or district parks.
Our main office in the Ruhr area is located in the midst of an industry and settlement area, which allows us a detailed view on potentials and issues of the Ruhr-Emscher region. Moreover, it raises awareness for projects in other domains and areas.
Working in the domain of designing industrial landscapes has shaped our work as these spaces have an unconventionally fascinating beauty which wants to be perceived and preserved. The appreciation of the existing is the principle of our work: we discern the patterns of the existing and use architectural elements and materials with restraint yet consciously, and always with respect to the space. Whenever we intervene with our work, we do so in a retained and dedicated manner.
We are a team of long-time, experienced and young landscape architects and architects. We develop draft designs in a group and together with those who move in these free and open spaces, as through different areas and domains of experience, the perspective broadens and the concept becomes more multifaceted. In many of our projects we work interdisciplinary with traffic planners, urban planners and architects, landscape architects, ecologists, as well as artists.
With the completion of the projects our work is not fully finished as it is our concern to continue to further accompany these by developing concepts for value-preserving maintenance, calculating lifecycle costs and planning the long-term maintenance management.
Potential influences of climate change, a change in mobility behaviour, and the preservation of biodiversity challenge open spaces. We consider and include these factors and plan accordingly to make free and open spaces available not only today but also in the future.