Restoration and revitalization of the historical landscape, Gentzrode Estate

Brandenburg , Germany, 2018-


Near the Prussian town, known as Fontanastadt, Neuruppin has a notable historical landscape.  The Gentzrode Estate was founded by Johann Christian Gentz an idealist with a vision. The Estate and plantation shaped out of the Kahlen Berge, former sand dunes that had been tamed, shaped, and planted by a variety of local and imported plants, and extensive infrastructural work. The landscape was experienced and narrated prudently, as much as the design and positioning of the buildings. The Granary, designed by Carl von Diebitch in 1861, in an Orientalist style, followed by the mansion designed by Martin Gropius and Heino Schmeiden. The prolific buildings was accompanied by a cluster of other buildings with varying programs, around a common courtyard.  The courtyard, and the surrounding parklands were designed by Gustav Meyer, later he was the Head City Planner of Berlin.

Traditional functions – like agriculture – are declining all over the world. Accordingly, land abandonment leaves behind disused fields and derelict structures. In recent times, these landscapes are increasingly appreciated as leisure commodities. Increasingly, people are choosing to put down roots far from the jamming and crowds. Social demand for landscape is growing and there is a shift from a functional image of nature and landscape to a living territory. Hence, rural with urban inhabitants is the result of a new kind of urbanization.

The vision of the Gentz family has been the inspiration of the proposed layout, aiming to establish the core elements of that inspiration, the project defines and traces the historical layout of the site. Juxtaposition of the land patterns and the current condition of the site is set as the guidelines of the project

The re-organization and re-structuring of 5 million square meter Gentzrode Estate will be designed in a 3-phase master plan, in an approach promoting ecological network as well as landscape rehabilitation while developing a characteristic settlement- where the natural landscape is not considered merely a decor but- a habitation fused in the natural setting embracing natural and urban opportunities together.