The development of the area and the planned building complex created new demands on Stefan-Heym-Platz. The aim of the design is to create a cross- generational and cross-environmental open space that meets the different demands of the surrounding neighborhood through different lounges and offers. A clear concept, concise formal language and a robust choice of materials give the square a recognition value and, as a gateway to Lichtenberg, creates an identity for the entire area. The small square can be divided into three areas: the green frame, the multifunctional square area and the “city balcony”. Existing rows of trees along the streets are doubled, thus creating a first green buffer between the traffic space and Stefan- Heym-Platz as a place to stay.

A green frame connecting to the inside acts as a further buffer and accommodates distinct functions and infrastructure. This garden band creates a counter-world to the surroundings and becomes a niche for diverse flora and fauna. The mixed planting has colorful accents throughout the year and, thanks to the grass and plant silhouettes, keeps a beautiful winter picture in the frost and snow. The White Birch and the Scots Pine are planned as new plantings amid the perennials and grasses. These presents themselves in their coherent as well as sharp contrast play of shadows and colors, which properties are due to the changing seasons.

The “plant crystals” stand out from the street level with surrounding walls and develop protected horticultural places.

The height development is adapted to the existing terrain. The wall crown that remains the same runs at sidewalk level on the northwest edge of the square and reaches its highest point at the main entrance of the square. Inwards, the walls fall to the height of a seat edge. The Green Frame opens as a garden to the interior of the square and, as a place of relaxation, shields the outside from the street. A reading path winds through the individual plant crystals and widens at bends to form places for lingering. In the middle of the “plant crystals” is a multi-generational play and sports area.

The square transitions seamlessly into a shallow pool of water with a rippling sound that promises to cool. To expand the area for various events, the flat, edgeless water basin can be drained. Towards the inside of the square, the garden crystals are designed as a seat edge and thus become a meeting place and place of communication. Above the shallow water basin, the small city balcony with a view of the water feature and the garden offer space for a café or business. Two seating steps lead from the city balcony down to the water basin and invite you to linger.

The walls are highlighted along the way by linear recessed ground lights. The reading path is accentuated with warm light, while the square is illuminated by three light poles. On his way across the square, the visitor comes across various quotations from Stefan Heym, which can always be rediscovered as letters made of steel on the small walls.

Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
hochC Landscape Architects (execution planning)

Project location Stefan-Heym Platz, Berlin, Germany
Design year 2015- 2019
Year Built 2019
Photographer: Lucas Reyer


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