The clifftop park in Esbjerg, located on Denmark’s west coast, has evolved alongside the city since its founding. From humble beginnings as a collection of fir trees to protect the city’s first houses to a fully landscaped social and cultural center, Esbjerg Bypark will now be updated once again to meet the city’s changing identity.
For the redesign of Esbjerg Park, nothing of the existing site was removed. Rather, a new network of plants, water, and furniture set into the landscape allows for flexible use of the park at all times of year, for years to come. These new features act as a flexible framework that can accommodate the city’s historic markers while making room for Esbjerg’s new cultural and public identity
The design maintains the many existing cultural amenities on site including the Esbjerg Art Pavilion, the Music House Esbjerg, and an outdoor amphitheater. The park will now add a network of trees, clearings, and water that builds upon the existing landscape. With the commercial harbor largely cutting off public access to the waterfront, water features threaded through the park makes this element the anchor of the city’s ongoing transformation: from the odor of fish to the scent of flowers, the din of the harbor to rustling trees and dripping water, the clamminess of the sea to the quiet reflection of a stream.
At the park’s center, a lake rests upon a flexible platform that can transform from a stage for outdoor events in the summer to an ice-skating rink in the winter. Stepped terraces frame this sloped terrain and give visitors a chance to sit and watch the happenings of the outdoor amphitheater. The 19th century water tower, an icon for the city, overlooks the new central lake and concrete bunkers, built during World War II, find new purpose as support functions for park events and pop-up ice cream shops.
In the absence of a physical connection between the clifftop park and harbor, we have made water an integrated part of the park's design.