Grün Berlin GmbH took over this 23.4 ha former amusement park in the Plänterwald forest in 2016. Our goal is to develop an environmentally sustainable culture and recreation park that will be appropriate for the fragile Spree Park site and attractive to both tourists and Berliners.
The initial situation
In February 2014 the Land Berlin (State of Berlin), represented by the Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin Projektgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, acquired the leasehold of the Spree Park from the insolvent Spreepark GmbH and has the property at its disposal, free of encumbrances and liabilities. From 1969 until 2002 the 23.4-hectare Spree Park was an amusement and recreation park. Since 2002 the park has not been permanently open to visitors and has become a kind of ‘sleeping beauty’. Before it was taken over by the Land Berlin, the park and the buildings and amusement rides remaining on it were becoming increasingly dilapidated.
From the 1st of January 2016, the Land Berlin entrusted Grün Berlin GmbH with the task of project development and creation of an overall concept for the Spree Park and managing it. Since then urgently-needed safety measures have been carried out in and around the site to ensure that areas the public use are safe (there are public paths between the edge of the site and the River Spree and through the Plänterwald). An inventory will identify which of the many buildings and technical facilities left on the site can be retained for future use.
Grün Berlin GmbH will develop a new long-term usage concept for the Spree Park with the goal of creating a new type of cultural and leisure park. Their goal is to develop the Spree Park into an environmentally-friendly cultural and leisure park that will be attractive to tourists and appropriate for its fragile site. They will reactivate the park and the old “Eierhäuschen” restaurant, which will be renovated by 2018 and in keeping with historic buildings regulations, and adding various artistic, cultural and catering facilities. It will not however, become a typical amusement park with lots of rides.
One important element of the spatial concept is the site’s historic identity as an amusement park and anthropogenically influenced space. It will be further developed with the addition of art, cultural and events components, new features for tourists, and a modern, up-to-date usage. Art and culture could become the formative ‘face’ of the Spree Park, in the areas of production and exhibitions and events. As well as artists’ studios and exhibition spaces, it could also offer performing arts venues and a club. An artist-in-residence project (and perhaps also writer-in-residence) has already been planned for the “Eierhäuschen” as part of the overall concept.In establishing an overall theme for the site’s future use, reference must be made to the park’s history. As the former GDR’s first and only large amusement park, the site has a special significance in the memories of generations of GDR citizens. The positive memories associated with it should play an enduring role in future. For this reason, the extent to which formative architectural elements such as the larger rides and buildings can be retained or even reactivated (the Ferris wheel, for example) must be assessed. Some structures could be kept on site to form a backdrop and lend the park an identity and uniqueness. Grün Berlin GmbH is developing a concept for the park’s appearance based on its existing spatially formative structures.Future use by its visitors will transform this “lost place” into a new type of park that takes into account both the entitlements and needs of the local population as well as tourism uses.
Initial discussions with interest groups have revealed a great diversity of development goals for the future use of the Spree Park. For this reason, Grün Berlin GmbH intends to create a consistent development plan for the Spree Park with the goal of presenting a master plan based on a potential analysis in early 2017.
Citizens and interest groups are participating in a dialogue process about the Spree Park.