World Horticultural Exposition 2003, Rostock

International flair


The site of the world horticultural exposition in Rostock was the setting for the garden show and exposition in 2003. Today it is a public park. The open space concept works with the opposition between the existing or regenerating landscape and stylised garden culture. Specific areas will be reinvented, in order to contrast old and new. The existing landscape will not be remodelled.

The development site stretches from the edges of the city to the banks of the River Warnow. It is a low land area, permeated by many ditches and streams.  A former calibrated watershed has been enlarged to form a lake. Floating gardens are anchored on the River Warnow, leading the visitors along the riverbank promenade to the exhibition site. The show gardens have been accentuated within the landscape, as clusters with differently-sized spaces enclosed by hedges.

From the main entrance "Hamburger Tor", artificial fountains and lines of fountains criss-cross through the exhibition halls and the central exhibition site. From here, a funicular railway crosses the exhibition site, as far as the estuary of the Schmarler Bach. One of the special features of the project's masterplan is the harmonious integration of the horticultural contributions by the 25 nations and the concept for subsequent use.


IGA Rostock GmbH

Project period

1997 - 2003


900.000 m²




1st Prize competition 1997


WES & Partner


gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
sbp - schlaich bergermann & partner

Pictures of the project

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