In a peripheral location typical of the Ruhr area, between the motorway and a residential neighbourhood, a football pitch and the Feldmannpark were for a long time adjacent. Schools, nurseries and a sports hall were also located close by. When the old sports field was abandoned and the site was earmarked for residential development, resistance started to form. Eventually, a multi-stage participation process involving representatives from schools, clubs, nurseries, a foundation and the city administration gave rise to the vision for a sports park. Everyone wanted a publicly accessible place with the motto “play, move, train”.

Idea for the sports park

dtp Landschaftsarchitekten took up this idea and fleshed it out. They developed a sports park as a low-threshold, interconnecting element that links the surrounding educational/cultural and sports facilities and can be used equally by everyone. The centre of the facility is a multifunctional open-air hall with an artificial turf pitch. Under its large roof overhang there is space for gymnastics, calisthenics, etc., and next door is a digital goal wall. In the surrounding park, too, the offerings are no less exciting: To the south of the hall lie a field for streetball, an undulating skate track, a long-jump facility and the start for the 100- and 500-metre running tracks. Further to the east, there is a parkour facility, a shot-put area, courts for beach volleyball and a bouldering rock. All facilities are functionally interlinked.

The density of fixtures decreases towards the green edges of the sports park. Hence, the Ninja Run is in the middle of a spacious meadow area, while slacklines are shaded by old trees. These green spaces contrast with the intensively used, central section of the sports park and also take on functions such as rainwater retention and promotion of biodiversity. From here, the sports park stretches into the adjoining neighbourhood. Not only does the 100-(?)500-metre running track lead there, but a sporty play area, a football field and the renovated sports hall also form part of the sports park and likewise function as points of contact for the neighbouring school and nursery.

Spectators also allowed

Anyone wanting to watch the lively goings-on in the sports park will find various opportunities, with seating and rest areas embedded in the design of the grounds. In addition to picnic tables and sunshades, reclining double T-beams are also spread across the park, all shining in bright yellow, just like the posts and frames of the sports equipment. The yellow colour, which shapes the identity of the new sports park, also marks the new play and sports facilities in the neighbourhood and thus likewise makes it visually clear what belongs to the sports landscape, how it connects previously separate places, and which synergies it benefits from.

More than just a football pitch

The Styrum sports park is by no means just a replacement for a dilapidated football pitch, nor is it a place solely for sports. It is a new attraction in the neighbourhood. Some users might be sporty and ambitious, while others are more playful or sociable. Every area of the sports park has an inviting character, and it is intended to get people excited about sport. This they can organise themselves informally and on their own initiative thanks to the low-threshold access to the park. The fence surrounding the core area is opened from morning to evening, while a system for classes and events helps with bookings of areas, equipment and also sports gear. Already, the supervision of the facility by sports educators and trainers has become established, and street workers from the district also use the sports park as a contact point for their work. All this clearly shows how the Styrum sports park is the product of many different actors. Not only in the planning and development, but also in daily operations, they contribute to the success of this extraordinary place for exercise and encounters.

Location: Sportpark Styrum, Augustastraße 118, 45476 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Design year: 2018 – 2020

Year Completed: 2022


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