The lip Park in Hamm puts special impetus by equipment , fall protection and design

by Friedhelm Terfr├╝chte, graduate engineer in landscape architecture AKNW | BDLA | DASL, Planungsb├╝ro DTP Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH

The lip Park in Hamm puts special impetus by equipment , fall protection and design

The western part of Hamm boasts a new highlight – an extraordinary landscape park encompassing three urban districts was created on the former mining areas. The core area is the 42 ha area of the abandoned Franz shaft, which was turned into a disabled-accessible municipal park with special attractions. The first part of this area was opened to visitors in November 2012. The second part, which is almost twice as large, in 2014.

Going for a stroll, skating, bouldering, playing football, watching, remembering, having a rest, communicating – the Lippepark in the west of Hamm offers numerous attractions for those seeking peace and quiet, recreational athletes, brave sporting talents, strollers or even spiritually interested people. Between the districts of Bockum-Hövel, Herringen and Pelkum, a new public park landscape was created on a 42 ha former mining area in the west of Hamm, which considerably improves the quality of life of the 175,000 inhabitants at the eastern edge of the Ruhr Area, which makes the structural change in this area once characterized by the mining industry tangible and understandable, and which lends vital impetus to urban development, the leisure industry and society.

In the midst of the new strip of parkland, the 13.5 ha area of the Franz South shaft was developed into the largest sport and leisure park in the west of Hamm. An early and comprehensive involvement was achieved by holding an ideas competition for the citizens and establishing a project advisory board composed of representatives from all socially relevant groups. Children, young people, church congregations, mosque associations, disabled people, artists, former mineworkers, retailers, cultural associations and barbecue enthusiasts contributed their ideas.

The park is characterized by a clear and simple basic structure. All attractions and paths are arranged around the central meadow park. Between the embankment head, which has been rendered accessible by steps, and the individual groups of birch trees from preserved stands of the former pit which are integrated into the area, the park logo dominates the central and prominent entrance area. It also forms the park’s link to the south. To the west, the forest park with small play areas and a children’s play area adjoins to. A noise protection embankment in the east was transformed into a promenade park with a gallery-like embankment path, viewpoints, small gardens and seating steps in front of the central event space.

 

Focus on fall protection

An approximately 6,000 m2 fun sport platform that can be put to a wide variety of uses constitutes the northern edge. In close co-operation with the young people living in the district, the youth welfare service and “x.move play rock roll”, facilities were installed that are unparalleled as far as variety is concerned: pool, jump hill, street plaza, all-weather pitch, lounge, boulder wall and fitness trail are an eldorado particularly for the younger ones all year round. Talented exercise enthusiasts from near and far seek and find physical challenges here.

For fall heights greater than 0.60 metres, special requirements on fall protection had to be met in compliance with DIN 1176/1177-2008. Seamless Playfix safety surfacing manufactured by BSW was installed on the boulder wall and on the entire fitness trail area. Falls from heights of up to three metres are thus adequately cushioned.

Playfix flooring was also installed at the lounge, as it is called, a place to chill out in the middle of the fun sport platform. The material can easily be applied even to slanting or curved surfaces, it is water-permeable and relatively vandal-proof. Due to its elasticity the material supports movements on the ground. By using surfaces of different colours, attractive places to dwell and linger with a pleasant atmosphere were created.

A lighting system ensures that the fun sport platform can be used all year round and even in the evening.

 

Project ideas

Out of more than 100 project ideas of the advisory board, two special ones were taken up and implemented by the planners.

The “Square of the 5 World Religions” is based upon an idea and the commitment of the local “Christian-Islamic Discussion Group of Herringen/Pelkum”.  The desire for a public place arose, which represents the area’s multireligious identity and is also suitable for joint events. In close co-operation and sometimes also after fierce struggles with representatives of the two major Christian Churches, the Hindu community of Hamm-Uentrop, the Jewish religious community and the German Buddhist Union as well as artist Michael Düchting, the different religious beliefs and ideologies were brought into the joint project. Five steel gates lead to a square with five high desks arranged in a circle. The gates symbolize the different approaches of the religions to faith. Gates and desks are adorned with religious symbols; the desks bear core messages of the respective religious persuasion. The result is a place of tolerance, of spirituality and mutual respect and esteem, again and again visited by school groups, religious communities and numerous non-local interested people. In view of the current religiously motivated political and military conflicts, this is a remarkable message and sign in a public park.

The special history of the site remains alive at the “Place of Mining History” in the middle of the northern park meadow. Surrounded by a picket fence, this place is reminiscent of the meanwhile backfilled shaft of the abandoned Franz pit with the Protego hood for controlled firedamp drainage. An outdoor exhibition with photo and text documents of the past 100 years on the site’s mining history was established around it.

With the technical implementation of the large number of special park elements, great attention was not only paid to an eye-catching design but also to suitability for daily use, safety and durability. Ramps and a tactile guidance system integrated into the circular path make for a disabled-accessible municipal park.

The participation process and the special design quality of the Hamm Lippepark have been repeatedly acknowledged and awarded, among other things the federal prize “Soziale Stadt” (“Social City”) in 2010 and second place in the 2012 European competition “City for children”.  

 

Photo: Berleburger Schaumstoff Werke (BSW), DTP Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH Essen and scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH Düsseldorf

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