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03.01.2011 - Ausgabe: 6/2010

To be used in common and stimulate everyone’s creative instincts


Opportunities for play – perfect places at the edge of the woods in the Wiehengebirge hills in the new Solepark. Water and creative learning - this multifaceted project was being developed at five locations during the State Horticultural Show, the plan being to create a comprehensive ‘Art Landscape’ from the merging of these. The ‘Water Learn Landscape’ sets no limits to inquiring minds – here visitors can marvel, allow their curiosity full reign, ask questions, develop their own theories and even conduct scientifically-based experiments to find the answers. This ever-changing water feature site is equipped with a wide range of different objects and materials that are designed to be used in common and should stimulate everyone’s creative instincts. An environmental tutor is on hand to help those interested discover more about the aquatic element.
Another section of the water landscape project is being developed by the ‘studio kunst und landschaft’. The concept here is based on a ‘Glacial Valley’ theme and this provides a backdrop for water sculptures created by Frank Jörg Haberland, Jan Koblasa, Jo Key, Boudewijn Payens, Ingo Warnke and Insa Winkler. For their works here, the sculptors exclusively used a local green limestone called Anröchter Dolomit. The so-called ‘Environment Island’ is the third element of the water landscape. This serves as a kind of open-air studio in the creative setting of which the visitors, under the guiding hands of experienced artists, are encouraged to give expression to their interpretation of the subjects water, biodiversity, recycling, nature and the world of the future. Working within and with nature thus becomes the focus of artistic experimentation.

A real, proper playground

The Osnabrücker Werkstätten organisation has installed what can only be described as a ‘proper’ playground in Schloss Ippenburg Park. The Osnabrücker Werkstätten is a workshop association that employs people with disabilities under the supervision of experienced craftsmen. Included among the articles they have been producing for the past 25 years and more is play equipment. Their robust products are manufactured from pressure-impregnated woods, such as spruce, pine and larch. The striking results of their efforts encourage children to romp, climb, balance, seesaw and can also be used in role-playing games, while an extensive sandpit is also provided where the younger children can dig and delve, oblivious to all else around them.

The hut village

Another outstanding feature is the hut village located above the indoor pool in the Solepark, under the trees at the forest edge. The ARGE LaGa, based in Bad Essen, was inspired to the design of this unusual play facility by the timber-framed houses of Bad Essen. Their concept was implemented and constructed by the woodworker Jürgen Bergmann of Kulturinsel Einsiedel in Görlitz. This village is inhabited on a daily basis by visiting children (and those who remain young at heart). Using ladders and ramps, they can reach the elevated level where the houses are located. From here, a slide leads down to the cushioned forest floor directly under the largest beech tree on the wood’s edge. Then you can climb back up and take in the view from the windows of the houses, where you can see as far as Bad Essen, towards the Mittellandkanal and the forest stage – just the thing for Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

Generational interplay: the Family Park

Bad Essen’s Family Park is located on the Ludwigsweg, directly next to the State Horticultural Show exhibition ground. This project has been realised by the Kinderwelten Bad Essen e.V. association and provides enticing recreational and exercise facilities for all generations. The Family Park complements the new horticultural show Kurpark at the edge of the Wiehengebirge forest and provides for active relaxation, play and all sorts of amusement. Since 2005, an active women’s group based in Bad Essen has been working on the idea of developing a special amenity where all age groups could interact and unwind together. The wide range of facilities on offer is designed to appeal to children, families and senior citizens with the aim of promoting contact and communication between the generations.
The Kinderwelten Bad Essen e.V. was founded in September 2007 and received wide support for its project from among the local populace. It was with the aid of donations and the generosity of the communal authority of Bad Essen and numerous other sponsors that the construction of the Family Park became possible. Because of its basic cross-generational concept, the Family Park project has also received financial support from an EU fund. With the aid of local businesses, the association has also been able to construct play and information stations in the centre of Bad Essen. These include a dinosaur figure in the Bolbec-Platz, the ‘leap-frog’ mushrooms in the Kirchplatz, other fixed play installations in front of certain stores in Bad Essen and the turntables of the ‘Labyrinth of the Senses’ in Lindenstraße. The route links all the various park facilities, making Bad Essen a particularly family-friendly community.

Imma Schmidt, Press Spokesperson of the 2010 State Horticultural Show in Bad Essen
Photographies: LGS Bad Essen

Heinz-Jürgen Nepke, landscape architect based in Bad Essen, supervised the Family Park project during its conception and construction. “Part of the existing Kurpark with an area of just over 2 acres was used as the site of the Family Park. The difference in elevation of nearly 33 feet made it possible to organise the various utilisation centres on diverse levels. A large proportion of the mature trees planted in 1978 were incorporated in our play and exercise concept. When selecting from the range of play and exercise equipment on offer, we focused on those items that could be used by several members of different generations simultaneously. To ensure that the disabled aren’t left out – people in wheelchairs, for example – we have also provided special facilities that they can use. The materials used - natural robinia wood and dyed wooden posts and planking – create colour contrasts intended to promote the development of an aesthetic spatial awareness. The generous dimensions of the park combined with the unique design of the play and exercise equipment gives the area a quite distinctive atmosphere. It has become apparent in the first months after its construction that the Family Park has become a focus of delight and happy activity where the various generations come together in harmony.”

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