A former freight depot situated in the heart of Kreuzberg, a district in the eastern part of Berlin, has been converted into a modern inner-city park. Once completed in 2013, the Gleisdreieck Park will connect various other green areas such as the Government quarter, Potsdamer Platz and the Schöneberger Südgelände nature park. The eastern part of the 26 hectare (64 acre) park was opened in September 2011 and spans some 17 hectares (42 acres). The western part, due to open in 2013, will stretch the whole area to around 26 hectares (64 acres). Glue – laminated Accoya wood was used to build sixty-nine park benches. Glulam is the only engineered wood material that offers unlimited design flexibility. It is fabricated by joining two or more layers of wood with an adhesive so that the grains of all the layers are approximately parallel. Due to its class 1 durability, exceptional dimensional stability, and improved coatings life, which means less maintenance, Accoya wood was the perfect fit and obvious choice for the project which has since won a prestigious Silver Urban Quality Award in 2011, even before it was finished.
The park architects focused on restoring and preserving plant species that usually grow near the road and building constructions, in this case the old railway area near today’s Gleisdreieck underground station. Some of the old signalling and railway facilities were also kept in order to give the open space its own special charm.
With its stunning Rose Scent Garden, children’s playgrounds and nature discovery areas, railway museum, the largest skating areas in the city, lots of space for joggers, table-tennis players and yoga enthusiasts, Gleisdreieck Park offers a haven for recreation for both young and old in the middle of the German capital. Huge green spaces, meadows, a backdrop of trees and forest complemented by the recreational areas provide enough space to play, do sport and relax.
Ingeborg Junge–Reyer, Senator for Urban Development of Federal Land Berlin, said: “We had the vision to build a park that is very peculiar for Berlin – rough and robust, but still very sensual and adjustable to different uses and lifestyles. The Gleisdreieck Park provides vast areas for a creative and informal adoption of the location by the visitor. All elements of the park were designed with aesthetical premises in mind. They’re large spaces with an arrangement of large-scale, indestructible outdoor furniture; the relaxed feel is further enhanced with mellow tree groves and meadows. It is truly a unique cityscape.”
The sixty-nine glulam Accoya benches not only provide a handy relaxation point, but also assure long-term durability against fierce weather conditions without necessary maintenance works. Accoya wood is available from FSC certified sustainable forests and an environmentally friendly building material with a 50 year guarantee against rot and decay and therefore perfectly meeting the tough demands of the project. Outstanding qualities of Accoya wood have already been proven through its use in other projects throughout the Europe.