In a unique collaboration, the city of Helsingborg and Krook & Tjäder have unveiled a novel theme park that artfully blends historical elements with modern innovation, situated strategically around an aged dry dock just south of the city’s bustling center. This newly established park rapidly emerged as a beloved destination for city dwellers, offering a plethora of unexpected delights with a special focus on engaging young minds. A dialogue with the community, particularly school-aged children, played a pivotal role in shaping the park’s jungle-themed playground. This theme is vividly brought to life through ingeniously designed play apparatus, lush, untamed vegetation, and interactive features that animate the sounds of various jungle creatures.

Helsingborg’s harbor and the adjacent Oceanhamnen, nestled along the Öresund, have seen extensive development phases, evolving from their initial locations at Kullagatan to Järnvägsgatan. Serving primarily as conduits for ferry and freight traffic, these ports have been integral to trade, especially noted for the exchange of herring, grain, and coffee, and have served as critical junctures for Sweden’s importation of fruits. The harbor was also the site of a significant shipyard, initiated in 1866 by merchant Carl Henkel among others, which after relocating in 1879, grew into one of the city’s largest employment sources in the early 20th century. Despite thriving for decades, the shipyard faced a downturn during the industry’s crisis in the 70s and 80s, ultimately leading to its closure in 1991. The 2019 “Memories from Oceanhamnen” project, a concerted effort by local institutions, aimed to capture and preserve the historical essence and stories of the port, underlining its profound impact on the city and its inhabitants.
Dockanparken is ingeniously conceptualized to allow nature and human activity to intertwinely reclaim the once-active dry dock, integrating a jungle motif that echoes the port’s historical role as

Helsingborg’s window to the global stage, a point of entry for novel and exotic influences. Within this space, the park meticulously conserves its industrial legacy by accentuating the dry dock’s original structure, now enlivened with a vibrant yellow hue reminiscent of a stranded ferry, alongside other industrial relics and a crane that now serves as an open-air museum. The sound barrier facing the direction of Denmark’s ferry route draws inspiration from the metallic facades of container ports, contributing to the thematic continuity of the park which is divided into various zones, each offering a distinct botanical environment and immersive experiences.

At the heart of this verdant oasis lies the jungle-themed playground, designed to spark adventure and exploration among visitors of all ages. Grounded in the intrinsic value of the natural and botanical surroundings, this playground is a maze of discovery, featuring diverse habitats teeming with lifelike animal sounds that encourage imaginative and physical play. The playground’s design, inspired by the children’s own visions, fosters sensory engagement and creative play, ensuring a dynamic and interactive environment.

The park’s design thoughtfully incorporates elements reflective of the shipyard’s and harbor’s historical narrative, ensuring the preservation of key features such as the dock and crane for future generations. Influences from the shipyard’s structural elements, like stairs and bridges, and the distinctive yellow hue of certain port fixtures are woven into the park’s aesthetic. The filling of the dock with materials from Oceanpiren’s construction phase, which also facilitated the adjacent new bridge’s construction, demonstrates a commitment to sustainability through the reuse of materials, including old railway tracks and furniture along the promenade.

Children’s jungle-themed play areas symbolize an engaging encounter with the exotic, offering a range of activities from exploration to physical challenges, thereby embodying the essence of adventure and discovery. Dockanparken stands as a testament to the park’s multifaceted contributions, not only in enhancing urban biodiversity and ecosystem services but also in its role as a cultural beacon that preserves the area’s rich industrial heritage. Through the meticulous arrangement of varied botanical zones and the integration of historical elements, the park serves as a vital green lung in the urban landscape, providing essential ecosystem services while also acting as a climate regulator and purifier of air and water, thereby cementing its status as a valuable cultural and ecological asset.

Dockanparken och Djungellekan was awarded ’Landmärket 2022’ by Architects Sweden, the collective trade union and professional organisation for all architects in Sweden.

Park och djungellekplats i Helsingborg vinner pris

Location: Helsingborg, Oceanhamnen. 56.04170419658212, 12.693778213735825 (Redaregatan 10, Helsingborg, Sweden)
Design year: 2018-2022
Completion: 2022, inauguration June , 2022.
Client: City of Helsingborg through the Urban Planning Department.

Responsible architects:
Sara Schlyter, Landscape Architect City of Helsingborg – Project Manager for Design and Planning
Johanna Elgström, Landscape Architect City of Helsingborg – Playground Manager
Karolina Halldin, Architect and Landscape Architect Krook & Tjäder – Assignment Manager for Design Program
Elvira Grandin, Landscape Architect Krook & Tjäder – Case Officer for Design Program
Martin Hadmyr, Landscape Architect City of Helsingborg – City Gardener

Other competencies that have contributed to the overall design:
Johanna Persson and Malin Jönsson, Ground Projectors City of Helsingborg – Planning
Marcus Höglund, Project Manager City of Helsingborg – Construction Project Manager
Martin Hallberg, Sound Designer Efterklang – Jungle Sounds
Bertil Göransson, Lighting Designer Luxera – Lighting Design (program stage)
Moa Bergh and Micaela Persdotter Andersson, Lighting Designers WSP – Lighting Design (planning)
Bengt Håkansson, Constructor WSP – Construction
Cado, Playground Equipment Manufacturer
Contractor: Peab
Photography: Werner Nystrand (current Dockanparken), Sara Schlyter (old dock)

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