Frequently visited yet still overlooked. The Welfengarten is a part of the Herrenhäuser Gardens and extends all the way to the main building on the University of Hannover Campus in the style of a classic English landscape park. Lawns and imposing trees as well as a pond with a picturesque bridge create a compelling arrangement which is fondly used by those in the Nordstadt of Hannover as well as students from the university.
Yet, because this garden is separated from the historic ensemble of Herrenhäuser Gardens by the layout of the city, the connection between the Welfengarten and the surrounding Georgengarten is lost. Particularly the busy Nienburger Straße, where the streetcar also runs along, makes the Welfengarten difficult to access, thus it stands in the shadow of its more well-known neighboring parks.
Hannover institutions such as the University Hannover, “Freunde der Herrenhäuser Gärten”, as well as the Staatliche Baumanagement Hannover have been working on the redesign of the Welfengarten for a few years now. At the end of 2015, the winning design of the competition “Welfengarten – Ein Park zwischen Geschichte und Alltag” was announced: the Berlin based landscape architect Kamel Louafi was awarded the prize for his design which features the historic moat redesigned into a seating element. The raised walkway is made out of a light-colored metal construction with steps and compact white squares. In order to connect the moat features and create a use for the extensive installation in the evening, the walkway is illuminated with the light fading from one side to the other. This effect allows for the purposeful delineation of the architecture achieved through the use of a light strip.
Studio DL was commissioned to guide this project from the lighting design plan through the implementation with construction supervision. The goal of implementing a subtle, discreet, and environmentally friendly lighting design was achieved with LED stripes.
For the partially rounded moat elements specialty luminaires were constructed which also needed to be resistant to potential vandalism because of the public accessibility of the park. <wpml.nbsp /> <wpml.nbsp /> Currently the lights are turned off at midnight for environmental reasons. However, there are further options for potential cycle times which are being explored based on how the space is used.
The seating elements along with the lighting installation improve the atmosphere and usage of the Welfengarten without a serious effect on nature. It is now possible for the garden to be animated in the evening and to give it a new identity in the public consciousness.