Peter Michel Young, Director of GRAS, Groningen Architecture Center, says Groningen wants too much and too little Stadspark.
I looked forward to the new City Park vision with great anticipation. Finally, a beautiful garden will receive the attention it deserves. But after reading disappointment prevail. Vision is cautious, real choices are not made. This does not make City Park more beautiful or better.
Hyde Park mirror
More than a century ago, industrialist and philanthropist Jan Everett Schulten donated the Stadspark resort to Groningen. Completed in 1926, with an area of 140 hectares, it can reflect Hyde Park in London and the popular parks in Vienna and Berlin.
But then things got worse: In the decades that followed, the city failed to properly communicate with the park. As a result, City Park remains somewhat lonely, amongst its stone layout mistakes, and often unappealing, all with their backs to the green.
Less “playing hide and seek”
The authors City Park Vision Review We now want a better connection to the city, both physically and ecologically: the park should be allowed to “play hide and seek” less. But would that be successful? City Park is not badly related to the city: the city is closely related to the park.
The first and most logical step is to remove existing barriers. Let the city embrace the garden, both literally and figuratively. Then the connections degrade on their own. A garden that you want to be for everyone must open its edges. With real entrances to the park, as with any decent city park inside and out.
Ninety-nine cases of miscarriage
East Side of City Park could be better and more generous, with a stunning entrance and a drive for quality in buildings along the rim. Much more profits can be made on the south side, in the Martini Mall – 1990s bastard. Make room here for a new campus, flooded with greenery and enriched with public facilities.
On the park’s west side, the ’90s Vinex of Kranenburg is miraculous enough Not Placed in the garden. That has to do with the customizations on Campinglaan. Perhaps it is time to revisit this. In addition, allocations can remain largely in place, but must be “generously viable”, as an integral part of the garden.
The promising side
There is a lot about to happen on the north side, and the promising side is perhaps. Sugar Silk plans offer perspective. I am amazed that the area around Peizerweg is not part of those plans.
I can already imagine it: an urban area on the north side of the park, with deep building blocks along a new Stadsparkallee, at this out of place bus lane site. With a mixed program of social rent and sale, in beautiful stereotypical diversity.
I also see a green syringe from City Park to Suikerzijde in front of me, which goes under the railway through a tunnel. The references are already ready and are, of course, Gronings: from the Europapark station to the green motif on the west side of Noorderplantsoen.
So there are a lot of opportunities. The opportunities Perlage and Schott actually saw in 1928 and 1932. It is strange that we have been blind to the potential of this site in recent years.
The most important spearhead in City Park Vision Review It is becoming a park for everyone. This sounds gentle, but it demands privacy. Can’t be blessed everything To be. The character comes from an obvious profile, and this profile is here for you to take.
So, dear worshipers: Do not get lost in the Circus of Sharing. Start with a good plan and challenging design – include good ideas from Groningers. Let the residents shoot that. This is a serious post. Then you can really use their mental faculties. Be selective, embrace existing qualities, make them better, and see if there’s still room. If you don’t, you risk a bag disassembled.
Peter Michel Young Director of GRAS, Groningen Center for Architecture. A longer version of this article previously appeared under the heading “Groningen Want Too Much, Too Little City Park” on platformgras.nl.
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