The landscape architecture firm SLA (based in Copenhagen) has won a competition to create The New Hedeland Nature Park on a 3750-acre (1500-hectare) cultural landscape that been used by humans for some 10,000 years.
Prior to being designated parkland, it was most recently the site of numerous gravel quarry operations.
The site is just a few kilometers outside of the ancient city of Roskilde, Denmark, which is about 30 kilometers west of Copenhagen on the island of Zealand. The city’s Gothic cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the tombs of 39 Danish monarchs, and was completed in 1275.
Now, the city is gaining a major new natural and cultural asset to revitalize its tourism industry. Rather than create a normal museum building, SLA’s design turns the entire mined landscape into the museum. Their winning design integrates the area’s unique nature and cultural history into a coherent experience.
Thus, the new cultural landscape is developed and created by and for the people who come visit, making The New Hedeland a changeable gathering place that constantly evolves and offers new diverse experiences each time.
.Hedeland’s former gravel pits are surrounded by a characteristic hilly dead ice-topography covered with a wide and varied vegetation. Through strategic alterations SLA’s development plan creates an undulating activity landscape that enhances, dramatizes and organizes the area’s physical expression and narrative.
The existing holes from the gravel pits are dug deeper, flat fields become mountains, and a new connecting trail will take visitors through the area’s best experiences.
The wildness of nature is thus preserved and reinforced and communities and companies are invited actively in through a collaborative process that makes The New Hedeland a scene for communal life, volunteerism and a new view of nature.
By its approach based on voluntary work and human creativity, The New Hedeland showcases a new innovative model for experience destinations and cultural landscapes.
“In our development plan nature and culture strengthen each other in a landscape that frames, stages and reinforce the existing qualities. Visitors are given a unique opportunity to form and develop the landscape and engage themselves in new communities,” says partner at SLA Rasmus Astrup.
Thus, our proposal not only conveys important cultural history, it ensures a long-lasting development rooted in communities which adds a new social layer to the cultural landscape”, he continued.
All images courtesy of SLA.