aerial view Westpark Bochum

Jahrhunderthalle in the Westpark Bochum

Colosseum

park with industrial buildings

park

Erzbahnschwinge

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Westpark Bochum

The story of the conversion of the former steel works Bochumer Verein into Westpark began in 1989. Situated next to the Bochum city centre, the 35ha wasteland was acquired by the Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft NRW (state development company; LEG) and integrated into the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) Emscher Park as a planning project. At the initial workshops, possible new uses were discussed without excluding the still existing industrial-historical legacy of this site.
From 1997, a concept drawn up by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Westpark formed the basis for today’s park. Around the central and historically significant Jahrhunderthalle, which was also being prepared for conversion into a cultural venue, the park developed at three levels which provide an impression of Bochum town but also of the site’s industrial past. The different levels make for different spaces in terms of their atmosphere.
Its connections are a characteristic feature. Connected by spectacular and award-winning bridges, staircases and newly designed accesses to the park a network of paths has developed which connects lawns, observation points and playgrounds with the new cultural and arts venues and the housing and commercial areas planned for the future and at the same time opens up the park on three sides. Concrete and steel fragments of former blast furnaces seem to form an archaeological field, former industrial water system cooling ponds makes for their own water world and the very visible Bochumer Verein water tower is the central landmark and point of reference. The southern edge is formed by a 16m supporting masonry built in 1911, the Colosseum. Until other plans have been realised, it serves the presentation of steel sculptures by the Bochum artists Friedrich Gräsel.
The park’s external transport facilities are a new underground station and new parking spaces.

Author: Peter Köddermann (MAI)
Last changed on 23.07.2007

 

Categories:
Landscape Architecture » Parks

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