Park for the disabled

Invalidenpark with Sinking Wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Invalidenstraße with Invalidenpark © 2004 Philipp Meuser

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Invalidenpark with water basin and sinking wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Sinking wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Sinking wall with internal staircase © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Sinking wall with internal staircase © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Rear part of the Invalidenpark covered with trees © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Rhododendron blossom in the back part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Rear part of the Invalidenpark covered with trees © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

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Invalidenpark with Sinking Wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

Invalidenstraße with Invalidenpark © 2004 Philipp Meuser

Invalidenpark with water basin and sinking wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

Sinking wall © Grün Berlin GmbH

Sinking wall with internal staircase © Grün Berlin GmbH

Sinking wall with internal staircase © Grün Berlin GmbH

Rear part of the Invalidenpark covered with trees © Grün Berlin GmbH

Rhododendron blossom in the back part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

Rear part of the Invalidenpark covered with trees © Grün Berlin GmbH

Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

Playground equipment in the rear part of the Invalidenpark © Grün Berlin GmbH

The Invalidenpark is located at the junction of East and West Berlin. The central element of today's park is the "Sinking Wall", a walk-through sculpture that reminds us that the Berlin Wall ran not far from here.

The approximately three-hectare Invalidenpark was one of the first public green spaces in Berlin. Named after the Invalidenhaus for the sick and war-disabled built in the 18th century, it was laid out in 1843. The design probably goes back to Peter Joseph Lenné. From 1850 to 1854 the Invalidensäule was erected in the park as a Prussian national monument, dedicated to the fallen members of the Prussian army in the battles of the German Revolution of 1848/49. In addition, the Gnadenkirche was built in memory of Empress Augusta between 1891 and 1895. During the Second World War, the park and the memorial were largely destroyed. The ruins of the Gnadenkirche were demolished in the 1960s. From 1967 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the barracks of the People's Police, which guarded the border crossing point Invalidenstraße, stood here.

The park was completely rebuilt from 1994 to 1997 according to designs by Christophe Girot in its current form. It consists of two parts: Along the Invalidenstraße, the park has a more square-like character with water basins and the "Sinking Wall". In the southern direction, it merges into a wooded part with lawn, old oaks and a playground.

The central point of the square is the shallow paved water basin with a rectangular ground plan. The water surface reflects the sky, and the wide edge of the pool invites people to sit and lie down. The "Sinking Wall" juts out of the water at an angle like a wall and reminds us that the Berlin Wall ran in the direct vicinity of the Invalidenpark. This 50-meter-long sculpture made of granite rises 7 meters above the water level at its highest point and contains a path that rises steadily to the south and leads to a lookout point. To the north, the path sinks into the earth like a trench, exposing part of the foundation of the former Gnadenkirche.

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Planning offices

Atelier Phusis, Paris
Christophe Girot

Project period
1992 - 1997

Size
3 ha

Construction amount
rund 10 Mio. Euro

Client
Grün Berlin GmbH,
Bundesgartenschau Berlin 1995 Park GmbH,
Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umweltschutz Berlin

Address
Invalidenstraße 48 / Ecke Scharnhorststraße
10115 Berlin

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