12.1.2016

Info point in the Johannisberg park and gardens

The project planned by Max Dudler – consisting of a visitor centre for the Sparrenburg fortress and an info point for the Johannisberg park – uses the two distinct twin buildings to form a relationship between the cultural monument and the landscape monument.

The city of Bielefeld is bisected by forested hills, the Teutoburg Forest. The trading town was founded 800 years ago next to a hill pass over this ridge, which was subsequently guarded by the historical Sparrenburg fortress for a long time. In the 19th century, the 200 metre high Johannisberg hill vis-à-vis the hill pass was transformed into a park as a destination for pleasure trips. The project planned by Max Dudler – consisting of a visitor centre for the Sparrenburg fortress and an info point for the Johannisberg park – uses the two distinct twin buildings to form a relationship between the cultural monument and the landscape monument.

The design of the Johannisberg info point is similar to the intervention at the Sparrenburg gatehouse in terms of shape, dimensions and material. While the Sparrenburg visitor centre and the gatehouse fragment form a new gateway together, the info point appears like a spatial echo of this setting, subtly conveying the gatehouse function of the building at the north entrance of the park. Visitors to the single-storey pavilion find information about the park’s offers here. WC facilities and seating are also provided.

To emphasise the impression of an ensemble, both buildings were constructed out of compressed concrete. The materiality of the individual and visible layers of compressed concrete results in a form of architecture that, precisely through its lack of perfection, forms an appealing addition to the park. What makes the material so exceptional is that its texture and colour create fascinating relation- ships both with the historic building layers of the Sparrenburg fortress as well as with the colours of the surrounding nature.

The cautious reinstatement work by landscape architects L-A-E on the Johannisberg park was honoured with the North Rhine-West- phalian Landscape Architecture Prize 2014. Due to its central location, the Johannisberg hill lends itself ideally as a starting point for many day trips in the area. The park itself contains many historic details such as a fountainhead with a brook bed and footbridge, an old ticket booth, a grotto beneath a stage, and many staircases as well as natural stone and supporting walls. The Johannisberg hill is also an important memorial site for the fallen and wounded from World War I and the forced labourers placed in camps here during the Nazi era.

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