Extension to the Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World)
Visitors to the Gardens of the World are greeted by impressive and diverse international garden artistry from various eras and regions. Work to sustainably develop this unique institution for tourism purposes and the IGA 2017 has been ongoing since 2013. Its goal is to extend the gardens and create a more user-friendly and wider range of services for the growing number of visitors with essential infrastructure such as a visitors’ centre and new system of paths, new event spaces, expanded landscaping construction measures and more space. In 2010 the Land Berlin acquired 22 hectares of land on the site’s western edge, doubling the park’s size.
The master plan for the Gardens of the World extension is the overarching conceptual level that links the existing site with its extension and creates a broader context between the various sub-areas, structures individual sub-areas, and integrates them into logistical processes.
The English Garden
Work began to create an English landscape garden on 6 hectares of the extension to the Gardens of the World in 2013. This tenth “world garden”, designed by the Austin-Smith:Lord firm, adds another central European tradition of garden artistry to the themed garden ensemble. It comprises an English landscape garden with a thatched cottage and cottage garden, a formal rose garden, a kitchen garden of shrubs and bushes, a fruit tree meadow and spacious lawns and recreational areas oriented towards the site’s landscaped topography. In 2015 the landscaping and cottage was completed. By the time the English Garden ensemble opens for the IGA Berlin 2017, its newly planted shrubs, herbs and plants will have had time to develop their full magnificence.
The visitors’ centre
The Gardens of the World already attracts around 800,000 visitors every year and many more are expected both during and after the IGA so a new visitors’ centre is currently being built. When it is completed in 2016 this will be the new main entrance on Blumberger Damm. The visitors’ centre will house also other essential service infrastructure such as ticket office, information desk and exhibition space, a souvenir shop, an events hall and food court. The spacious building with its large expanses of glass was planned by the Luxembourg architects’ firm of ww+ (Esch-sur-Alzette).
To date, big successful events held in the Gardens of the World such as "Viva la Musica" have not had an appropriate stage. In 2014 work began on an open-air stage with seating for 5,000 that fits into the landscape like a sculpture. The stage complex, designed by the architects’ firm of Paul Böhm (Cologne) will provide a suitable space for the many IGA Berlin 2017 events.
A playground planned by the Geskes. Hack firm will be built on the Parkwiese Süd (southern meadow). The theme of the playground’s design is “Conrad’s Ride”, based on Erich Kästner’s children’s book “The 35th of May or Conrad’s ride to the South Seas”. Conrad’s adventurous ride will be projected in the Gardens of the World at 5 play ‘stations’ in the Wuhletal and on the Kienberg. Once this adventure is established in outdoor space, children will be able to embark on an international adventure, just as adults can ‘travel the world’ through the themed gardens and exotic cultures on display in the Gardens of the World. Construction work on the first station is scheduled to begin in 2016.
The water garden
The east-west band of the water garden in the southern section of the Gardens of the World extension planned by the Geskes.Hack firm is accessed by a promenade that steadily descends to a spectacular waterfall. Along this path, visitors discover the water garden’s diverse range of plants and atmospheric aspects. The colours and forms of the various water plants and flowers, the mist, light and shade and the diverse sounds of the cascades all contribute to creating a wealth of sensory impressions.
Nine internationally renowned landscape architects from five continents have designed “Internationale Gartenkabinette” (international display gardens) for the IGA Berlin 2017. After the IGA they will become part of the Gardens of the World.
The tropical house (Tropenhalle)
Since 2003 the Balinese Garden in the Gardens of the World has been housed in a 1990s glasshouse. The greenhouse housing the Balinese Garden and village is now being expanded into a 12-metre-high tropical house. Work on the new tropical house, designed by Haas Architekten (Berlin), began in the spring of 2015. This glazed building will replace the old glasshouse and expand the Balinese Garden. The expanded tropical house will accommodate the growing number of visitors, the most modern use of energy and the requirements of plantings typical on Bali.
Among the catalogue of further measures centred around the Gardens of the World are the development measures in and around the Kienberg and Wuhletal.