A Dramatic Detour

At the beginning of 2010, Realdania and the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sport Facilities introduced a development project entitled A Good Detour. The intent of the competition was to encourage innovative design and planning concepts that would create better conditions for healthier and more active lifestyles, especially within the everyday spaces we inhabit. Ultimately, the winning projects will be used as examples that other cities and communities can emulate.

Out of the 59 municipalities who submitted proposals, only 9 were selected to develop and build their ideas. In collaboration with Solrød Municipality, a suburb of Copenhagen, ACT submitted a proposal to establish an activity park along the embankment of a highway noise barrier. The site is, as most noise highway barriers are, a vast 1.4 kilometer strip of land, directly adjacent to a large residential area and void of any desirable function.

In a country where vertical topography is a rarity, the proposed activity park will take advantage of the site’s ”hill” landscape, integrating a series of new experiences for local citizens, including walking and climbing paths and a sledding area during the winter.

The design concept calls for the establishment of four activity zones and a disc golf course along the entire site. Each of the activity areas is designed with a specific function and user group in mind. For example one area creates a new public performance space, while another is considered to be a “big kids” playground, catering to all ages. The design proposal also takes advantage of the existing site characteristics, utilizing a grove of trees, for example, to add intimacy to the performance space.

Apart from the proposed local improvements to the site, the activity park will also become a part of the municipality’s greater plan for a 4 kilometer long activity route through the center of the town.

“This project targets a wide audience and is a valuable example in relationships to both its well known typology as a noise barrier and the project’s low cost of construction, making it attractive and easy for other municipalities to emulate. It is also good that the project can be used all year, and that the project is centered around and integrated into the city’s larger path systems and activity zones.”

– Competition Jury’s Comments

Project: Activity Park

Location: Solrød, DK

Type: Invited Competition, 1st Prize

Size: 5 Hectars

Budget: < 2 000 000 DKK

Clinets: Solrød Municipality

Partners: Solrød Municipality

Status: Schematic Design Phase

Services: Master Planning, Activity Planning, Landscape Design

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