Spa Park Bad Saarow

Client: Kur- und Fremdenverkehrs GmbH Bad Saarow
Period: 1995-2000
Dimension: 5 ha
Location: Bad Saarow-Pieskow
Award: German Landscape Architecture Award 2001 - appraisal

After forty years of being in the shadows as a result of the war and the establishment of a strictly shielded sanatorium for the Soviet armed forces, the new construction of the spa and the restoration of the adjoining spa park hark back to the heyday of Bad Saarow in the 1920s and 1930s.

Today’s design of the open spaces takes up the potential of the complex created around 1910 by Ludwig Lesser with its diverse open spaces and stately spa facilities and villas. It follows the model of a representative park characterised by openness, transparency and generosity. The hitherto hidden landscape qualities—the magnificent backdrop of Lake Scharmützel, the gentle topography as well as the beautiful, old tree population—are emphasised and the traces clearly left by Ludwig Lesser are included. In particular, the contours of the park as well as the axes were restored by exposing the historic tree population.

The visual axes reaching deep into the site and the indirect pathways in the park or along the shore make Lake Scharmützel visible and tangible. The curved paths within the spa park allow visitors to approach the lake gently and get to know it from a variety of perspectives. Pavilions, lakeside balconies, the Kursaal with restaurant terraces and the Kurfürstenterrassen jetty are arranged like a string of pearls along the first section of the lakeside promenade.

For the redesign of the open spaces, a timeless and representative design language was developed with a combination of formal and landscape elements. In contrast, the integrated small buildings such as the drinking hall, pavilion and pergola are clearly contemporary, as are the furniture and materials used.

“The work shows that the symbiosis of new and old can succeed. The new elements blend harmoniously into the historic park. They show a clear language of form down to the last detail. In this way, the authors have succeeded in creating an almost timeless park. A skilful use of plants, for example in the ‘Rhododendron Valley’, is also striking. Overall, it is commendable that the revitalised park fits well into the concept for Bad Saarow-Pieskow without resorting too heavily to historicisms.” Excerpt from the jury’s verdict, German Landscape Architecture Award 2001

“…yet altogether, the open space appears classical, timeless. Historical traces and the valuable stock of old trees are integrated coherently into an overall scenic composition with new elements.” Extract from the publication “Neu verorten – zeitgenössische deutsche Landschaftsarchitektur“ BDLA (editor), Birkhauser Verlag, 2002

Images: Stefan Wolf Lucks