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Square as a stage of urban life

Square as a stage of urban life

In Spenge, North Rhine-Westphalia, an inaccessible car-driven crossroads with parking spaces has become a place for networking, play and casual relaxation. The uniform design feature of Blücherplatz is a high-quality covering made of GIMA flooring. Planning for this came from Franz Reschke Landschaftsarchitektur.

The importance of public space for the urban community became apparent again in the initial phase of the epidemic. The quality of the use of open spaces and parks has shifted significantly into focus. Making public urban living space worth living has not only become a beneficial goal for cities and communities since recent challenges. Since 2019, the city of Spenge in North Rhine-Westphalia has taken on the task of redesigning the centrally located Blücherplatz. From the crossing of an inaccessible street driven by a car with a parking space, a place for communication, play and informal accommodation was created, which the residents should consciously use. The innovative contact feature is a high-quality floor covering made from GIMA Flooring.

Prior to the conversion, the Spenger Blücherplatz was not very attractive. Car traffic largely displaced pedestrians here, and although there was enough open space at the intersection of five streets, there was little incentive to stay. Landscape architecture office Franz Reschke in Berlin took on the task of rethinking the square in terms of traffic and space as a result of a design competition. In their design, the planners specified the use of the area in the sense of a city square that attracts passersby and at the same time enables them to participate in what is happening.

The plan was initially to free the central district from both stationary and moving vehicle traffic. The center of the square has been redesigned and, among other things, has been supplemented by the water feature at ground level with a circular plinth. Landscape architects call it the “urban life stage” where you can party, play or stay as you please. The colorful event is framed by seating as comfortable and adaptable street furniture as well as loosely scattered trees or newly planted individual trees in the surroundings of the open structure.

The visual coherence of the redesigned Blücherplatz plaza is emphasized by a high-quality covering made of pavers from GIMA. Various zigzag and diagonal links define the square’s circular center and the outer areas individually. The square remains palpable as a spatial unit through a similar color nuance and placement pattern.

A paving stone with dimensions of 320/52/100 mm was used as the main format, laid in an upright position and supplemented by three other special shapes. This allows the model to be optimally designed while keeping the cutting effort on the construction site as low as possible. The integrated course in the form of side risers ensures a minimum hinge spacing of 4 mm, and a mounting depth of 100 mm gives the durable housing a high level of stability.

The long service life, freedom from maintenance and low exposure to dirt are supported by the high bulk density and low water absorption of the clay and silt clinker. All GIMA products meet the requirements for paving bricks according to DIN EN 1344 and significantly exceed the standard values ​​of test methods.