Old Market, Stralsund

HISTORY AT THE WATER’S EDGE

Concept

As the centre of Stralsund’s old town, the Alter Markt, or Old Market Square, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is dominated by historical buildings from different centuries around the edges of the square. The flanking town hall and the adjoining St. Nicholas Church are regarded as outstanding buildings of the North German Brick Gothic style.

In order to design the square as a coherent spatial entity, the original surface of the square is carefully restored to a large extent with the existing natural stone paving blocks. At the town hall, the paving extends directly up to the building in order to clearly highlight it as a unique and freestanding element in the urban space. The square is to be kept free of traffic in the future, which increases its amenity value as a place to linger and further strengthens the uniqueness and identity of place. As a reference to an earlier fire pond at the site, there is a shallow, transient pool of water in the middle of the square; for a brief time and in allusion to the rhythm of the waves in the sea, it is fed with a surge of water that ultimately drains away, thereby freeing up the square again. After the waves subside, a single fountain resembling the spout of a breathing whale appears.

The area adjacent to St. Nicholas Church is designed as a green space. Hedge elements and lawns mark the former positions of historic buildings and thus illustrate the Hanseatic city’s rich history.

Client

Stadterneuerungsgesellschaft Stralsund mbH

Project period

2009 - 2012

Size

5.000 m²

Type

Public spaces & squares

Location

Germany

Realisation

WES LANDSCAPEARCHITECTURE

Partners

Hans-Hermann Krafft, Berlin
Ingenieurbüro Küchler, Stralsund

Photos

Christian Roedel

Project pictures