Willy-Brandt-Platz (Willy-Brand-Square), 2002-2004
Convention Center, Munich-Riem, DE
in collaboration with Lützow 7, landscape architects
Fountain, asphalt, cobble stones, Ø 40 m
The Willy-Brandt-Square has the shape of a large trapezoid. This shape founded the starting point of the design concept; it was defined as a homogeneous projection surface, laterally bordered with tree avenues, corresponding directly with the surrounding architecture.
The design accentuates and underlines what already exists, paying attention to the monumentality of the square by leaving it more or less empty of sculptures or other interventions. Only one fountain is located in the middle of Willy- Brandt-Square. The water springs from a circular opening in the center, then flows down the barely noticeable gradient surface (gradient 1.25 to 2%); a fine film covering the plateshaped surface, moving slowly towards the edges. The entire square becomes a well, offering its visitors a large variety of usage, depending on each season. At the same time, the square remains an open field, a place of possibilities.
Depending on the season, the water will evaporate in the heat or freeze to an ice rink in the cold. The homogeneous, monochrome, abstract surface of the square with the fountain design aims to create a space for multiple use. Meanings (or the memory of Willy Brandt) should not be fixed in advance by means of plants or symbols, but rather kept open and available.
The square could be used as a playground, as a rally site or skater place, a place of protest or gatherings. Like a pedestal, the surface concentrates on itself, while at the same time emphasizing everything that takes place on it. The space becomes a projection screen for the real and the imaginary, for moving and static images, for the still and bright, the colorful and alive, constantly re-imagining change and transition. The play of the water, the search for the dry areas, the variability of the flow of the water, the influence of wind and weather, passers-by - seeking to find a way across the square… all this provides a Gesamtbild of the space.
The concept corresponds to the desire of the local residents to create a place of versatile use, designed for different audiences. Now it is up to the people to visit this place and to see it each time with different eyes and to change it, again and again.