published in sb 6/2017
Hybrid between landscape and building
Vestre Fjord Park is a recreational learning and experience landscape. Its simple high-quality architectural structure contributes to the full experience of this unique site at the Danish fjord, the Limfjord. The architects of Adept have created a nuanced balance between the natural landscape, the activities and functions and the park’s many daily users that really adds life and local character.
The Limfjord itself, the largest fjord landscape in Denmark, is the principal resource of Vestre Fjord Park. Here one finds ‘real’ nature – water, bird life, fish, fields, beach and meadows – that together with a wide variety of physical activities and outdoor facilities create the setting for new experiences close to both nature and the city.
Vestre Fjord Park is built on a site that formerly held several related non-recreational functions and elements, out of place in the park’s unique surroundings. The area lacked aesthetics, spatial structure and coherence.
Aalborg Municipality as the client had a vision of Vestre Fjord Park being the catalyst of a new strong identity in the area by embracing the outdoor swimming facilities in a physical, aesthetic and functional unity with its green surroundings. While strengthening the experience of the landscape qualities, Vestre Fjord Park was to create a contemporary and multi-functional park and built structure to include a multitude of different activities related to the beach, water, nature and other kinds of physical activities. The design was developed with close user involvement.
Diverse landscape characters
It is the balance between the natural landscape, the planned functions, the new ‘water spaces’ and users that really adds life and character to Vestre Fjord Park. The vision is to encourage direct contact with the fjord by establishing better accessibility from land to sea. At the same time, the project aims to strengthen the story of the landscape with a multi-functional building structure that frames the potential activities of the water.
estre Fjord Park is both building and landscape. The park is divided into several smaller landscape areas, each with its own identity and character. The isthmus to the north with the building structure, its facilities for sports clubs and its unspoiled nature along the fjord; the beach embracing the outdoor swimming area with sand, water and springboard diving. The woods and the wetlands to the west and south with their dense vegetation that close around themselves contrast with the open areas of the wedge and the plain to the east.
Multitude of water related activities
The precise cut between the two water areas, the inner basin and the fjord itself, defines the northern isthmus, binding together landscape and built structure. The multi-functional building structure is seemingly an integrated part of the promenade, all paths clearly leading here.
The small individual buildings bound together by the roof landscape provide spaces and facilities for a large variety of functions. Here one finds club facilities for local sports clubs, a sauna, a small café, the lifeguard’s office, changing rooms and sanitary facilities.
Serving as seating for the basin activities, the roof structure also offers a built-in playground with trampolines, a slide and a climbing net along with a partly coated surface. Aside from some parts of the roof most areas of the park are accessible to all.
Other parts of the roof are covered in lush greenery that from several positions makes it simply look like part of the natural habitat. The remaining surfaces are clad in wood so that the built structure seems to blend seamlessly with the promenade. Natural materials and ‘honest’ details in both building and landscape are chosen to create a homogenous balance with the colours and surfaces of nature.
All elements and products have been consistently chosen for minimal impact on the environment. All wood is certified and climate adaptation is integrated throughout both building and landscape.