Mauerpark Berlin – Investigating Design Language at Multiple Scales



Publication Date

August 2022


The Mauerpark Berlin is a recently completed, contemporary park in Berlin (GER) designed by German landscape architect Gustav Lange (1937-2022) on the void of the former Death Strip of the Berlin Wall. Spatially, Lange preserved the openness of this urban void in the design concept while creating carefully placed design interventions throughout the park. Typically, Lange applies basic geometric shapes and ordering spatial compositions that are balanced with moments of randomness. This paper investigates the relationship of ordering design strategies with tactical, random moments in the design of Mauerpark Berlin. The method is a design analysis at three scales. The analysis investigates the overall composition of the whole park to smaller areas and further down to the scale of design objects and focal areas. Findings reveal that the design language applies a formal design vocabulary with principal geometric compositions and shapes and is balanced through variations and exceptions. This phenomenon is increasing gradually from the larger scales to the smaller design scales. From a more close-up perspective, geometries and lines are broken up to reveal gaps and thus increase diversity and intricacy in the design. These qualities seem to lead to moments of unpredictability, self-authored, spontaneous appropriation through users, unprogrammed and ever-changing activities through people or random distribution of pioneering, vagabonding plants. Overall, this study is relevant for those who are involved in the creation, restoration, or maintenance of larger parks in urban contexts that serve diverse users and audiences.