Before our final presentation, we conducted one final site visit to Westpark in Bochum. We walked throughout the site and thought of ways to connect the community to the park and also make better pathways throughout the site.
We also conducted case studies of places that had interesting sound design elements. I found three interesting sites with interesting sound wall elements: Buitenschot Park in the Netherlands, Ushüaia hotel in Ibiza, and Veddel North Deichpark.
Our overall plan was to revise the pathway system and in the process, address some of the major issues in the park. We analyzed the data that revealed areas of the site that were high in anthrophonic (people) and biophonic (animal) sounds and data that indicated areas of high and low pressure.
Early Concept of Pathways
With the sound data we collected, I created a meandering pathway systems that would run through the park, providing access but also creating quiet spaces.
Normalized Differences Soundscape Index Map
Biophonic Index Map
The pathway itself would undulate, moving up and down upon the ground like a sine wave. Higher points of the pathway will have seating under them.
I wanted to create a sound wall in the park that would act as an equalizer, low pass filter, and high pass filter in a Digital Audio Workstation, and absorb and block specific frequencies, letting others pass through. Darker pink areas indicate areas where more sound protection will be needed.
The Pathway System
A closer look at the materialities and the sinuous structure of the pathway
Our Design plan focused on changing existing areas of the site:
Design Plan Map
- Stronger entrance, planted steps, shade area
- New fountain area
- New path system, added shade trees
- New pathway, plantings on edge
- Stronger entrance to site
- Gathering space atop triangle mountain, new topography, water catchment area
- End of site
- Entrance area by the railroad tracks
Some other implementations my group made to the park were:
- Removing some existing train tracks to create safer pathways for people to walk on and make a stronger entrance point from two points to bring in the community. We also wanted to limit access to the active railway that people currently use to enter the park and create accessible areas with ramps for individuals who use wheelchairs and bike traffic.
- Adding shade in the park and cooler areas through planting and implementation of shade walls (which also function as sound walls), water elements (fountains), as well as shade structures.
- Enhancing existing recreational spaces through topographic manipulation
- Bringing more water into the park to increase the biodiversity of the park
- Honor the industrial past of the park and find more cohesive ways to integrate the existing buildings into the landscape as well as find uses for old railroad ties.
It has been so interesting to visit and study post industrial landscapes in both Berlin and Essen. Only one week left before I make my way to Israel and I am onto the next part of my journey.