The twentieth century’s cathedral: Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (Part II)

From steel to grass
The closure of the Rheinische Stahlwerke zu Meiderich bei Ruhrort left in its wake unemployment and pollution by the bucketful. Nowhere was this poisonous legacy more evident in the vast wasteland stretching between the towering blast furnaces and the tangle of concrete of the intersecting A42 and A59 autobahns.
An imposing wall, surmounted by a railway and by a sets of cranes seemingly borrowed from a large seaport, separated the furnaces from the deep bunkers which contained the by-product of the steel-making process. Further afield, a large esplanade, the Bunkervorplatz, cleared up the cooling water used to prevent the furnaces from exploding. Both activities left a thick layer of pollutant elements, metals that significantly altered the soil’s pH to the point that no vegetation could resist. What architects Latz + Partner did was to employ phytorestoration, using fertilisers and fungi as bridgeheads on the toxic ground, opening then the road to plants and trees.
The result is truly remarkable. Where, once, toxic waste laid untreated, seeping into the aquifer system, now murmurs a stream, whose oxygenation is further helped by a wind wheel which, one would’ve assumed, existed only in the Kansas plains. The bunkers, cleared of the wastes of the sintering process, have now turned in tube-slides and climbing ways. A Greek theatre and a panoramic spot on top of a mound, covered in rabbits’ burrows, complete the place. Once there was waste and pollution, now there are dogs roaming, joggers and a duck quacking away.
Click on the pictures to start the slideshow.
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3 Responses to The twentieth century’s cathedral: Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (Part II)

  1. itstartedinoxford says:

    I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! Keep up the wonderful posts (:


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