Landscape architecture & outdoor/public spaces
Ville de Luxembourg – Service Parcs
Year of completion
The city of Luxembourg aims to provide the population in each district with sufficient public space in the form of squares, parks and playgrounds. In the district of Bonnevoie-Sud located south of the center, the demand for public space is covered by Parc Kaltreis.
The park was built in the 1980s and has since become an important part of the open space network of the city. Due to its exposed location between urban landscape (residential district) in the north and cultural landscape (agricultural, forest and meadow areas) in the south, the park acts as a link between the two landscape types. In the park as well, landscape elements such as pond systems, extensive meadows and curved paths meet urban elements such as playgrounds, beach volleyball, basketball and multi-sport fields.
Occasion and participation procedure
The starting point for the refurbishment were technical and optical defects at the two artificial pond facilities. There had to be a fundamental revitalization of both ponds.
This led the city of Luxembourg to initiate a participatory process to find out how satisfied the users were with the park and if there were any suggestions for improvement. The population could express their opinion, wishes and ideas for the park. The result of the public participation showed, that the park no longer met the current and future demands of users. There was a variety of requested usage that the stock could not cover. Therefore, the city decided to make a comprehensive transformation of several areas of the park. Among the wishes and ideas there were a themed playground "space", a street workout park, sitting and lounge areas in the shade and a water feature.
The existing urban and landscape elements are strengthened and set in scene by targeted interventions and supplements. The existing vegetation edge along the boulevard Kaltreis is preserved and remains the backbone of the park. It is the opponent to the opposite undeveloped "scenic edge", which allows a view into the cultural landscape. Within the park, the vegetation is thinned punctuated, undergrowth and hedgerow enclosures are cleared. It creates new visual relationships and the clarity is increased.
The new center forms the Urban Center, with the Park Entrée, play, sports and recreation areas. In the east and west each adjacent to a scenic area. The three parking areas are connected by a new main path, which opens up the entire facility from east to west. The existing north-south connections remain, are partially expanded and repaired. Thus, it is still possible to cross the park from the neighboring residential district into the cultural landscape.
The formerly inconspicuous middle park entrance is expanded to a widely visible main entrance area. The new generously designed entrance, which turns into a piazza with water feature, welcomes park visitors and offers a first orientation. At the same time, there are also infrastructural facilities, such as public sanitary facilities, drinking water dispensers and a designated storage area for food trucks.
The Plaza divides the Urban Center into a sports and games area. The existing sports offer is extended by a boules field and several ping-pong tables. The new Street Workout Park allows you to exercise all day, whether morning, afternoon or evening and provides a free alternative to a gym. In addition to a sling trainer, a fitness bike and a cross trainer, there are seven additional exercise machines to strengthen all body parts. In the selection of devices it was ensured that these can be used by all sports enthusiasts no matter what level of fitness they have.
The main attraction for all children is the space themed playground. A request from the participation process, which at the same time takes up the desire of the city of Luxembourg to distribute various themed playgrounds throughout the city. This creates varied and attractive scope.
The nine game elements extend over two oval play islands, one filled with sand and the other filled with pea-gravel. A large part of the playground equipment is a custom-made product that has been specially designed and built to the smallest detail for the Parc Kaltreis.
Even at a distance you can see "Apollo 11" the rocket slide tower. With its red and white checkered perforated sheet metal paneling and a height of 7.80 meters, it is the eye-catcher of the entire play area. The tower is divided into three levels with three different types of slides. As soon as the children get into the tunnel slides, they embark on a journey to the planets. This is created by blue-red visual and light points, which are embedded in the slide and symbolize a planetary system. Within the tower, the children can communicate with each other with the help of tube telephones.
Right next to "Apollo 11" is the space capsule "Lunar Roving Vehicle". On the one hand, it serves the children as a retreat where they can play or hide. On the other hand as a viewing platform from which "Apollo 11" can be "started" with the help of a rocket control panel. The plateau can be reached by a ladder or a small climbing wall.
"The Saturn's Mine" is a sandy construction site that is modeled after the rings of the planet Saturn. At three stations: with sieves, tables, funnels and cranes, sand can be transported and "processed". When the children look up, they discover a colorful planetary system in the construction of "The Saturn's Mine".
The three game elements are complemented by the "Skywalk" cable car, the "Skyview" - several swings for all ages and "The Moon" - a hub.
On hot summer days, the popular space playground is competed by the water feature on the piazza. Its hilly design of modeled in-situ concrete and an anthracite-colored mortar coating awakens upon closer inspection associations with a planetary surface. 20 mist nozzles, nine water nozzles and two water cannons provide a lot of fun for the little park visitors. Mist and water nozzles can be switched on separately via sensor buttons and the water cannons are freely swiveling. This way the children can actively participate in the event. In order to save drinking water, the water feature works in a closed water cycle. The wastewater is collected in an underground cistern, processed through a filter unit and returned again. During the months when the water feature is not in use, it can be used as a skate and bike obstacle given its design.
The range of games and sports is supplemented by attractive lounge areas. Under an awning, can be picnicked at tables and benches. Benches are positioned to give parents a good view of the playing children. In addition, the park has a public Wi-Fi network and offers good conditions to work outdoors when the weather is nice.
Scenic areas and revitalized ponds
If you leave the busy urban center in the east or west you get into the scenic areas. Rest, relaxation and deceleration are in focus here. Curved paths make the landscape come alive and invite you to stroll. Numerous seating areas offer the opportunity to observe the events in the park. Away from the shadows of trees, visitors can practice their mental fitness at chess tables.
The highlight is a new trail of footsteps, which is connected to the existing network of paths and leads to a viewing terrace with a view of the landscape and one of the revitalized ponds. Along the way, curved seating chairs are arranged, on which one can relax alone or as a pair.
In the countryside as well as on the edge of the urban center there are artificial ponds. Both were dredged, re-profiled and modeled. Due to the high clay and loam content in the soil, a repair of the pond seal could be done with the upcoming soil.
Since its reopening, the Parc Kaltreis is not only a popular for the inhabitants of the district Bonnevoie-Sud but also a destination for the population of the entire urban and from the surrounding areas.
The targeted restructuring measures have enabled the park to withstand the increased pressure of use and remain an important part of the open space network of the city of Luxembourg.