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14.04.2023 - Ausgabe: 2/2023

Paul-Gerhardt-Allee Landscape Park in Munich

By Ursula Hochrein (lohrer hochrein landschaftsarchitekten und stadtplaner gmbh)
© Thorsten_Jochim Photography München

Play – Sport - Recreation

The redevelopment of the former commercial and light industry area on Paul-Gerhardt-Allee saw the last remaining section of Munich's central railway area put to a new, high-quality use. 

The approximately 38-hectare site, which is bordered to the south and east by the Laim-Pasing and Laim-Obermenzing railway lines, now boasts a modern, self-contained urban neighbourhood with flats, shopping facilities, services, social facilities and leisure amenities for around 5,000 residents. The development of the entire neighbourhood is based on the urban and landscape planning ideas competition held in 2012, which was won by the team of Palais Mai GmbH architects and lohrer.hochrein landschaftsarchitekten und stadtplaner gmbh. 

 Open space and green spaces   

The neighbourhood's local recreational supply of green and open spaces is primarily provided by the approximately 8-hectare landscape park that stretches along the track area.  The park connects the neighbourhood with its surroundings via the new footpath and cycle path and - in a larger sense - the Pasing/Obermenzing district with the inner city. The secondary pathway network connects the new residential district with the park. In addition, walkways invite visitors to stroll and linger in the landscape park. There is a variety of pathways leading through the park, with ever-changing views and the interplay of light and shade, narrowness and expanse. Along the way, there are plenty of benches for people to rest on.  Differentiated recreational areas such as the heather garden and the elevated viewing platform with a view of the tracks and the park are intended to sensitise visitors to this special place and its flora and fauna, while at the same time serving as protected recreational areas. 

From an ecological point of view, the new park also connects the individual biotopes along the railway lines with each other.   Trees and shrubs were planted and the ground was modelled in a variety of ways to spatially structure the vast, relatively long green space and provide varied and attractive recreational spaces for meeting, playing and exercising, protected open space compensation areas that have the quality of a nature reserve, and tranquil walkways.   In the central area of the park, widely spaced oak and hornbeam groves with some solitary beech, pine and sweet cherry trees open up the view of the extensive meadows.

In the north-east, where the park tapers off, fairly low-growing shrubs were planted so as not to shade the adjoining open space compensation areas. These areas, which are not used for recreational purposes, provide critically important habitat for sand lizards or the endangered lotis blue butterfly. 

 The mounds in the south-east serve as a noise barrier against railway noise and are at the same time used as a sledding hill with a vantage point in the neighbourhood.   Three children's playgrounds and a youth play area complement the range of leisure facilities. In order to meet inclusion requirements, both the play areas and the recreational areas are disabled-accessible; in addition, when selecting the playground equipment, attention was paid to ensuring that it could be used in a variety of ways. 

Various seeding types typical of the site, such as nutrient-poor grassland, were planted on the adjacent open space compensation areas. In addition, various habitats for sand lizards were created, such as sand mounds and dry stone walls.  Exercise, play and sport   

At the "Spiel der Lüfte" next to the sledding hill, a balloon that can be climbed on and various flying objects invite you to engage in free, unstructured play and embark on exciting trips into the realms of fantasy. The flying saucer spinner and a nest swing (flying carpet) will take you to lofty heights. The tunnel slide connects the "higher spheres" with the toddler area below, where young and old can have a snack and rest at the picnic table or on the benches. Behind it, butterfly bushes and nesting boxes enable you to observe the flying wildlife. 

 The large playground on the plain has the element of "water" as its central theme. Weirs, an Archimedes’ screw, climbing rocks, a play ship, a swinging pod bridge and other solid and loose natural materials allow mermen and mermaids of all ages to set sail here or ride the waves on swings and seesaws. A special attraction to the north of the water features is a zip line.  With willows and alders, the vegetation reflects the water theme. 

The northernmost play area in the Räuberwald has not yet been implemented. The rather narrow section of the green corridor around this playground is enclosed by a dense forest consisting of play trees and "real" trees. 

Balance and climbing equipment of various degrees of difficulty as well as a hill slide are installed all around the small embankment. A cave in the forest and a raised hide (cage) encouraging role play complement the range of play activities. For the little ones, a net spinner and a swing are added. The forest theme is enhanced by the vegetation consisting of beech, oak and fir trees. 

Young people were also given their own space: both the grass volleyball court in the middle of the park and the large sports area behind the sledding hill with a football pitch, streetball court, table tennis tables and a table football table offer a variety of opportunities to let off steam in the fresh air. Circumferential seat steps and a covered area at the edge of the sports field can be used as grandstands during tournaments or as a screened meeting place. The north-facing sledding hill has everything from a high and steep slope to shorter, flatter slopes - providing a wintertime diversion for everyone.  

In addition to the benches along the way, there are terrain-specific types of seating:  a raised platform from which you can look out over the noise barrier to the south in the direction of the Alps, a sunken garden sheltered from the wind that gets the midday and afternoon sun and brings out the best scent in the herbs that grow here, and, in a final construction phase, a heather garden with flowering species of the native surrounding heaths. All these facilities are structured in such a way as to provide large open spaces and meadows for free, unstructured play.



The planting is essentially based on the vegetation types found in the surrounding area.The dense wooded areas consist of oaks, hornbeams, elms and maples, with sloe and wild rose hedges at the edges of the woods. In the northwest, the park tapers off so that the greenery here consists of low-growing shrubs in order not to shade the adjoining open space compensation areas. 

In between, widely spaced groves open up the view into the wide expanse of the green corridor. These, too, are usually oak and hornbeam groves with some solitary beech, pine and sweet cherry trees. In addition, a distinctive indicator tree species is selected to complement the planting in each grove.  The surrounding noise barrier is planted alternately with climbing plants and shrubs. Due to the design and the planned topography, the footpath and cycle path in the south-western and north-eastern areas are directly adjacent to the noise barrier. Here, climbing shrubs are used on the inside of the noise barrier. Where the path moves away from the noise barrier, low- and tall-growing shrubs are planted in the resulting open spaces.

Further information:

Planners: lohrer.hochrein landschaftsarchitekten und stadtplaner gmbh  Ursula Hochrein, Bettina Hauck 

Bauerstrasse 8 D-80796 Munich Tel 089 / 28 77 91 – 0 www.lohrer-hochrein.de  Site management: Großberger Beyhl Partner Landschaftsarchitekten mbB

Execution:  Hallertauer Landschaft GmbH & Co. KG (landscaping) 

Client: Aurelis Real Estate GmbH & co. KG Region Süd, Munich ARTEC Wohnbau GmbH & co. KG, Pullach 

Playground equipment: Ernst Maier Spielplatzgeräte GmbH, Altenmarkt a.d. Alz (rope ferry, swinging pod bridge, play ship, aeroplane) 

Richter Spielgeräte GmbH, Frasdorf (water play elements, jumping discs)  FHS Holztechnik, Arnsberg-Niedereimer (double swing, climbing balloon, flying saucer spinner, bird's nest swing, tunnel slide) 

Period: Design: 2015 Execution: 2017-2019  


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