An unusual new park popped up in Munich last year in an unlikely place - right on top of a set of railroad tracks. The new urban park spans the railroad chasm in-between several new apartment complexes in the Theresienhöhe district. What was once a parking lot between the spaces has been transformed into a blissful green space. Topotek 1 designed the urban park using lightweight materials so that the deck could handle the load. Accessible from both sides by the public, the space includes a long green lawn, a rubberized play, and sports field, and a large sand and gravel area.
The new park is built in-between a series of residential buildings that measures 300 meters long by 50 meters wide. The deck originally provided a connection between the newly built apartments and it was never really planned to be a park. When the idea came about to turn it into one however, the designers had to pay special attention to how much weight they added to the structure. The deck is not connected to the ground, so all the supports exist at the level of the buildings. With the exception of the orange concrete walls, all of the materials chosen for the park were lightweight – like geofoam blocks covered with astroturf or tartan-covered rubber.
The center of the park features a green lawn covered in astroturf, a sand pit, and play sculptures. Integrated trampolines in the dune-like extrusions, jungle gyms, slides and tubes provide an exciting landscape for children to play. A rubberized tartan surrounds the lawn, providing space for kids to play games, ride bikes, or run around. Gardens on either side connect the play space to the residences, and a grove of pines are planted on the north side to provide shelter.
The new park provides a welcome contrast to the dense housing in the surrounding areas while creating extra play space. Although the grass isn’t real, it is a much better alternative to a massive parking area or an empty concrete lot. More urban parks and play space are always a good thing, and the project’s unlikely location over a railway makes it even more unique.
Images ©Topotek 1 and Joosten