War ruins, peace landscapes, metropolitan nomadism. [“Natura artificialis” and urban mobility | Olympiapark-München]

Maahsen-Milan, Andreina (2012) War ruins, peace landscapes, metropolitan nomadism. [“Natura artificialis” and urban mobility | Olympiapark-München]. [Preprint]
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Construction of infrastructural networks and landscape care often play opposite roles in the design of balanced urban spaces: sometimes, however, technology and environment co-exist and get harmonized in the creation of the so-called Gartenkunst as “natura artificialis”. Case Study: in summer 1972, in the occasion of the XX Olympic Games, Munich opened the Olympiapark-München, (called “Oypark”), synthesis of a multi-year plan of infrastructures for roads, services, residences, sports and leisure time. The vast area – on a surface of 300 hectares – attracts flows of visitors, sports amateurs or common pedestrians who stroll and bike along lawns and paths, or visit the areas on electric trains sightseeing the sweet hilly landscape. Olympiapark is more than just that : it represents the physical translation of the ideal conception of civil society in Germany after the second World War, a kind of “historical picture” of juvenile movements of the Sixties, mainly made up by pacifists and liberals.. That vis civile is reflected in the sophisticated simplicity of the Landschaftarchitektur as well as in the architectural works gathered – bright and inviting – around the artificial lake. Less known to the public is the fact that such an idyllic landscape was modelled on the ground of a huge dumpsite of war debris. Such deep symbolic value – to build a “place of peace and harmony” – is the interpretation key of a successful experiment of progressive planning. Since its very first conception (Günther Grzimek, 1968-72) both the plan and the park have been proof of a choice that can be surely defined as “environmentally sustainable” ante-litteram. Concept and Planning Principles. The project and its implementation are the result of five-year elaborations made by a high-level multi-disciplinary team coordinated by G. Behnisch & Partner and with the contribution of Frei Otto and Fritz Leonhardt. Planning design, formal quality and technological innovation merge into an articulated design of road-and-rail integrated mobility. Olympiapark is today among the urban places with the highest urban dynamism : the works of the “historical” district have been completed with other installations of high architectural level and value which have increased service quality and attractiveness both at urban and territorial level. In par-ticular, the Landmark of BMW-Museum | BMW-Welt and München Olympia-Einkaufszentrum – built at the intersection of the U3|U1 subway lines- attract huge flows of visitors and tourists. The subway station itself – recently re-styled – is a sort of super-place stolen to the metropolitan ano-nymity by means of colours and pictures. In fact, it is here, and in the three other subway stations, where most of the district life takes place, a district which is “nomadic” and at high-density of youngsters and students. Conclusions: Olypark – with its urban “archipelago”- can be considered as a key example of that willingness to harmonize environmental recovery, social mainstreaming and mobility : today the implementation of policies of Social Housing and the availability of integrated services are able to offer suggestions, inputs, models for the recovery of the European global city.

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Maahsen-Milan, Andreina
Deposit date
03 Sep 2012 09:18
Last modified
01 Oct 2013 09:58

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