Dania Park, by Thorbjörn Andersson and Sweco Architects, in Malmö, Sweden. Water is an excellent source of inspiration for the field of landscape architecture and the present project does not make an exception from this rule. This waterfront park was opened in 2001, bearing the trademark signature of Thorbjörn Andersson and having quite the perfect location – the edge of the Öresund strait, dividing the countries of Sweden and Denmark. Whenever we read about a new landscape architecture project, it is practically impossible not to be impressed with the amazing transformation that has occurred along the way. This situation is even more valid when it comes to Dania Park, as the area chosen for this project was part of the former Western Harbour, an industrial sector located on the Malmö coastline.
The transformation project was ambitious to say the least, but the creative minds at Thorbjörn Andersson have managed to take it where it should be. The site went from a barren landfill, with contaminated mud to an amazing waterfront park, serving as a source of inspiration for future landscape architecture projects.
Inspiration Always Comes From Unexpected Sources
One of the biggest challenges that this project has presented was the identification of the site qualities. The designers gladly accepted this challenge and found their inspiration in aspects that are genuinely unique. Going beyond what serves in general as a source of inspiration, they saw that the site had a unique light and splendid horizons, with long views. In an almost poetic manner, three romantic elements have been used to create this amazing waterfront park, meaning the sea, the wind, and the sky.
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Integrating Spectacular Sunsets
Taking the inspiration to a completely new level, the project brought certain elements of nature closed to the visitors of the park. One finally had a place to enjoy the water waves, not to mention the spectacular sunsets on a lazy summer’s day. Nature remained a source of inspiration throughout the entire duration of the design process, the coastal landscape clearly being reflected into the making of the park. Variety was one of the objectives of the project and it was successfully achieved, with each season bringing a completely different experience to the park visitors.
Features of the Park Bringing the Elements of Water Closer to the Visitors
Among the principal features of the park, you can find the Scouts. These are actually three tilted concrete planes, penetrating the rough boulder lining. What are the best things about these features? Well, they allow the visitors of the park to reach the sea, enjoying the beauty of water and everything else that it has to offer.
Embracing the Elements to Make Better Landscapes
In order for the visitors of the park to come even more in contact with the elements of nature, the designers of the project have added the Bastion. This is a 40 by 40 meter flat table, elevated at approximately 6 meters above the sea. The visitors can take delight in the elements of nature, including the wind and the splendid sunsets. Add to that the three wooden boxes (Balconies) that overlook the grass meadow (the Lawn) and you have the complete picture.When it comes to the vegetation, you will see another inspired choice – in order to protect the activity field from the rough sea winds, a double row of Sorbus trees and shrubs that are resistant to salt have been planted.
“No water, no life. No blue, no green”. -Sylvia Earle
The above quote is quite representative for this project. As we take a good look at the features of the park, it is practically impossible not to notice how all of them turn towards the sea. All the activities of the park are connected in some way or the other with the water and the coastal landscape is splendidly reflected throughout the entire park.
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