Subject: 1st /3rd Semester Studio Project, M.Sc. Landschaftsarchitektur
Topic: Scenarios for the post-coal-mining landscapes of Oberlausitz
Teachers: Martin Prominski, Verena Butt
Cooperation: Robert Koch, Regionaler Planungsverband Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien, Fachbereich Braunkohlenplanung
Authors: Jakob Gerlach, Jane Heidemann, Sebastian Schneider, Carina Brüning, Monika Spoerhase, Jessica Uhrig, Lukas Wiegmann, Matthias Unland, David Zielfeld
The development of creative visions for the future of the “Nochten” coalmine, close to the German-Polish border was the topic of this Master’s studio. As an alternative to the typical “recultivation”, the students’ ideas went far beyond the idea of reconstructing a landscape of the past.
The group of students had the chance to have a guided tour of the mine and speak with stakeholders such as managers of the coal-mining company and local activists opposing the mining. They interviewed laymen and experts to understand all dimensions of the coal mining, which range from the economic interests of international producers and local employees, to the problem of landscape destruction and the loss of “Heimat”. The impressive size of the mine and the huge impact of the coal-production on the people and their landscape, e.g. on the water table, the vegetation and fauna triggered off discussions and revealed the complexity concerning this source of energy. What is our role as landscape architects? How can we create future, attractive and awe-inspiring landscapes that have new qualities instead of trying to copy the erased landscapes of the past?
Concepts were developed by six individuals and groups. The concept of “Energy landscape connects” worked out energy-corridors that connect the surrounding municipalities of the former mine, taking into account the region’s historical role and the role of this source of energy. Another group created a new, artificial image of forests and translated the characteristic corrugated surface structures of the active mine into a future landscape.
The concept of the “Nochten Canon” proposed different landscapes of memory, showing the landscape’s changes through the mining processes. Another concept was inspired by the impressive linear structure of the active mine and translated it into linear, multifunctional blocks. Each block is planted with one species of tree, providing different habitats and spectacular spatial perspectives for visitors. The concept of a “wine land” showed that it would be possible to take advantage of the particular characteristics of the post-mining soil to plant wine, which is almost impossible on the normal soils of this region. Using the existing huge machinery of the active mine, the student created an impressive topography and unexpected landscape images. The concept of “??? – Design as research” transformed the devastated landscape into a research landscape, a landscape lab.
These different proposals were presented to stakeholders and laymen of the region, to open up new and unexpected perspectives for the post-mining landscape.
Jessica Uhrig, Monika Spoerhase: “??? – Design as research”
Subject: 1st Semester Studio Project, M.Sc. Landschaftsarchitektur
Topic: Weser Changes
Teachers: Anna Schwinge, Susanne Zeller
Authors: Florian Depenbrock, Flavio Venturelli
The “Lagoon.Park.Weser.Minden” is creating a a new landscape along the River Weser in Minden, Germany. For years, people have been afraid of the dangerous consequences of flooding along te Weser. Engineered flood barriers have been built and all new districts planned far from the river. Consequently, Minden is now disconnected from the Weser as an archipelago of separated districts or “islands”.
The concept of “Lagoon.Park.Weser.Minden” understands the Weser as the linking surface between existing and future islands. The river is to be transformed from a water body enclosing anarchipelago into a lagoon. New “ecologically oriented islands” and “leisure-dedicated islands” are to be integrated into the city of Minden. Flood protection, nature conservation, and leisure activities interact with the dynamic river.
Subject: Final thesis M.Sc. Landschaftsarchitektur
Teachers: Martin Prominski, Verena Butt
Author: Marcella Hartmann
They are gargantuan and extremely deep, with a majestic white color, accented by a shimmering turquoise blue or a fuzzy green. These quarries at Lägerdorf were created by chalk extraction for use in cement production. The layers of chalk are the result of millions of years of sedimentation, but after only a few decades of quarrying the resource will have been exhausted quickly. The extraction of natural resources is generally only a temporary land use. Once the extraction has been done, what could the next step be in the transformation process of these impressive landscapes?
This thesis explores various future development scenarios for the quarrying landscape. It aims at identifying possible combinations, synergies and multi-functional aspects. A chalk sea represents one possible future for this breathtaking chalk-pit landscape.
Subject: 3rd Semester Studio Project, M.Sc. Landschaftsarchitektur
Teachers: Christian Werthmann, Eva Hacker, Joseph Claghorn
Authors: Florian Depenbrock, Timo Fritz, Marten Urban
Growing informal settlements have greatly impacted the landscape on the steep slopes surrounding Medellín. Extensive deforestation and illegal construction have led to increased erosion and the risk of landslides. The focus of future interventions should lie in mitigating this risk.
One possibility of improving the stability of steep slopes is through community-based reforestation. A slope-adapted street system could form an infrastructural framework for future development. Short rotation coppices serve as vegetation buffer zones around informal settlements and the harvested material can be used for further stabilizing constructions utilizing techniques of bio-engineering. Improving the living conditions in the communities, giving technical education and creating economic opportunities will help to improve the overall acceptability and success of the system.