The challenge for the designer: “In Berlin’s Schöneberg district, an abandoned gas station dating back to the 1950s stands in the midst of an enclosed city garden today. A glass-walled studio building was added to the structure, with its shed roof typical of gas stations. The client wanted a garden guided by the motto “Three Friends in Winter”, inspired by an exhibition about the three great emperors of the Qing dynasty (1662- 1795), who counted garden design among their hobbies. The three “friends”, in this case, are the pine tree, with ist sweeping crown carrying the snow, the bamboo, the evergreen symbolic of eternal life, and the cherry tree, the first tree to blossom before winter is over. The landscape architect, in turn, was inspired by a Fellini film and its mood – by the heat of summer, the scent of stone pines, and the chirping of crickets.”
This is what Hager Landschaftsarchitektur of Switzerland came up with:
“Large pine trees and multi-stemmed cherry trees stand in the gravel that covers most of the garden. Along the walls, which are two meters high, bamboo provides protection from the gazes of neighbors and passers-by. Beeblossoms, campanula, yellow ragwort, foxgloves and lilies grow between the bamboo plants. In addition to these species, columbines, willow leaf sunflowers, gauras and phlomis plants also flourish in the gravel. Starting out as insular beds in the gravel, the plants are spreading throughout the graveled area. The insular element within the meadow in bloom is now the concrete surface beneath the shed roof. An oblong water basin with water lilies and irises lines the plant bed along its southern edge.”
I find this design to be entirely successful and love the creative re-use of the land. The irony is not lost on me; It was a gas station no less! It has me thinking about how so man other abandoned industrial sites might be transformed into beautiful and creative homes and gardens. What do you like about this design?
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