There have always been discussions about the 'Königsplatz'. Louis du Ry's first design for the circular square from the 18th century was criticized as well as its later function as market square or location of the artwork 'Die Treppe (The Stairway)' by Gustav Lange were disputed.
Refurbished for several times in the post-war era bringing doubtable results, it was finally redesigned by GTL in 2004 as the winning result of an invited competition.
- Address : Königsplatz
- Region : North Hesse
- Area : 13,25
- GPS X : 9.497766494750977000
- GPS Y : 51.315753939538844000
- Project start : 1999
- Implementation end : 2004
- Website : http://www.gtl-kassel.de
- Project Status : Completed Project
- Client : Stadt Kassel
- Ownership : Public
- Accessibility : Unrestricted areas
- Project Team : Markus Gnüchtel, Michael Triebswetter with Kamel Louafi
- Notes : project as a result of a design competition in 1999 (1st prize)
- Brief Description : In the center of Kassel, this square originates from urban development dating back to the 18th century and forms one of the very rare entirely round urban squares in the world.
As discussion had risen due to the interested public, the design process starting in 1999 was a highly public affair, finally resulting in strengthening the historic design principles: enhancing the circular geometry, concentrating on the double ring of the trimmed sycamores and an open square center suitable for all kinds of outdoor activities and events ranging from christmas or easter markets to beach volleyball tournaments and exhibitions.
New ellipsoid-shaped tram stop shelters with an integrated kiosk by HHS Architekten, Kassel, formally play with the circular square. They serve as orientation spots in the otherwise unfurnished inner space. At the same time, they underline the axis of 'Königsstraße' and "conciliate between the circular square and the tram dynamics" (HSS).
Atmospheric lighting by Licht/Raum/Stadt, Wuppertal and a ring of 36 bronze waterspout sculptures in six differing main categories (snake, bird, elephant, whale, dragon, lion) by Kamel Louafi, Berlin, were orchestrated in a way that the balance between impressive openness and the citizens' demand for lively urban space was kept.
The conception of this fountain ensemble "to fill the edges and at the same time to keep the public space accessible" (Louafi) was developed referring to Baroquan waterworks and makes the entire square look like a gigantic fountain.
Weaknesses of the new square design may lie in details. Even though the asphalt cover does not go down well to everybody and one would prefer a rather offensive maintenance and care due to the numerous chewing gum stains, it may be time for Kassel citizens to finally make peace with "their" Königsplatz.
- Designer : GTL Gnüchtel Triebswetter Landschaftsarchitekten, Kassel with Kamel Louafi Landscape architecture - Landart, Berlin
- Image Title : Königsplatz Kassel