In early 2016, the City of Gothenburg sent out an open invitation to landscape architects, artists, and architects to participate in a competition / tender with the aim of developing a permanent Jubileumsparken. The teams were asked to continue with open processes and base the design process on gradual evolution and co-creation. MARELD + atelier le balto was one of three selected teams commissioned to investigate, research, and propose a phased social, economic, and environmental growth strategy for Jubileumsparken.
The borders for the future park were not set at that time, it became our task to consider the whole Frihamnen area as a potential arena for the park, regarding both time and space. Studying the interface between the park and the future buildings was a significant requirement ingrained in the commission. Our long-term vision for Jubileumsparken was one of an experiential landscape. The aim was to enable visitors to enjoy both the urban and the activity-focused landscapes together with the ruderal and unprogrammed areas of the shoreline and Kvillepiren. We envisioned a seamless transition from the existing character, materials, and vegetation to the proposed ones. Local shoreline-inspired flora, fauna and habitats help to bind these places together, while the visitors can experience a landscape that gradually changes from an active and urban scenery to a calmer and more natural one. The existing vegetation, habitats, and materials were proposed as a basis to strengthen the genius loci of Frihamnen.
The project shows appreciation and understanding for nature’s wild spontaneous growth in the heart of Gothenburg. In addition to emphasising the industrial and ecological heritage, it was essential to point out that the role of landscape architecture and Jubileumsparken in the context of Gothenburg’s anniversary should not be considered a typical project process that instantly produces a camera-friendly landmark. Landscape architecture is long-term and creates a legacy that tells a multifaceted story of the city’s past and present to future generations.