ULAP-Platz Berlin-Mitte

Grüne Halle © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Starke Geometrie © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Blick zum Hauptbahnhof © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Viaduktweg und Hauptbahnhof © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Blick von Alt-Moabit © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Neue und historische Treppenanlage © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

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Grüne Halle © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

Starke Geometrie © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

Blick zum Hauptbahnhof © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

Viaduktweg und Hauptbahnhof © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

Blick von Alt-Moabit © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

Neue und historische Treppenanlage © 2008 Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten

With the redesign, the triangle of ULAP-Platz, an almost randomly created "residual area", is once again a striking urban space in the immediate vicinity of Berlin's main railway station, giving the newly emerging urban quarter in the center of Berlin an independent identity. The site looks back on an eventful history.

Initially intended as a temporary solution, an exhibition site called "Universum-Landes-Ausstellungs-Park", or ULAP for short, was established at the end of the 19th century between Lehrter Bahnhof, Alt-Moabit and Invalidenstraße. Until shortly before the start of the First World War, major exhibitions on trade, hygiene, art and technology were held here.

During the Second World War, the exhibition buildings were severely damaged during a bombing raid in November 1943 and demolished in 1951. Woods gradually grew up, especially in the eastern part of the site, creating a forest-like stand of trees in the area of the former entrance square and the flight of steps. The remaining triangle of the ULAP square became a "residual area" located between roads.

The numerous existing trees were the reason for developing a spatially closed green space. The picturesque, mature trees were largely preserved and continue to dominate the space. A "green hall" was created by means of a consistent elevation, which underlines the character of the square as a public place in its spatial effect and communicative potential.

The historical references were respected, but not superficially displayed, as the current use has completely changed. If you look closely within the existing structure, you can see an old row of lime trees from an earlier design phase. The existing staircase, which is now overgrown with trees, was carefully integrated and adapted to today's requirements in one section.

The space is defined from the edges with the future building uses and the related areas, which can accommodate outdoor catering, for example. The tree-lined center, on the other hand, is a flexible zone that reacts in various ways to the usage activities of the surroundings and can thus become both a relaxation and exercise area.

Striking seating furniture emphasizes the independent character of the ULAP square. The benches specially designed for this facility describe the depth of the space. In the evening and at night, they transform into a swarm of elegant light sculptures that lend the space a unique atmosphere.

First prizeGerman Landscape Architecture Award 2009

Jury verdict: The ULAP site is located next to the main station in Berlin and is a "hidden" place despite its central location. It is characterised by a very dense old tree population and a clear difference in height. In the opinion of the jury, a very appropriate and restrained design for the space is derived from these two defining elements: Few tree plantings complement the existing grove. A few tree plantings complement the existing grove, while a stone frame and benches designed for the site provide a calm surface on which the play of shadows cast by the trees can take effect.

The way in which the historic staircase is dealt with is particularly noteworthy. Although overgrown by trees, it could be preserved. It is flanked by a new staircase band of the same material. The interplay between the old and new staircases clarifies their relationship and addresses it in a very subtle way. Overall, the careful handling of the enchanted atmosphere of the site by means of the very targeted landscape architectural interventions is impressive.

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Planning offices

Rehwaldt Landscape Architects

Heike Langkutsch (Projektleitung)
Angela Aurin, Mattes Hoffmann, Dagmar Rehdanz, Kerstin Weber

Project period
2005 - 2008

1,3 ha

Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Abt. Städtebau und Projekte, Hauptstadtreferat

Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Abt. Städtebau und Projekte, Hauptstadtreferat vertreten durch DSK Deutsche Stadt- und Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Berlin

10557 Berlin

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Prices & Awards
German Landscape Architecture Award 2009
First prize

Project type
Parks and green spaces
Squares, promenades, pedestrian areas
Planning of garden memorial care, park maintenance works
Redevelopment of (historic) open spaces