“It´s raining cats and dogs” is a very British expression. This park, designed by LABLAND architects in close cooperation with the citizens of the small town of Laasby in Denmark, can handle every kind of weather. In fact, the weather is the whole reason why the park was created in the first place.
At one end of the small Jutlandic town of Laasby could be found an old factory area, being overtaken by grass and bushes. No one was using it – let alone crossing it in order to get to the other end of town. Here you would find a home for the elderly that back in 2013 found itself flooded by the enormous amounts of rain that the northern part of the globe has been experiencing.
Generously combining these two pieces of information with a lot of funding and effort by the local municipality leads to the construction of a sea park, designed by LABLAND architects:
“Not only does this project differentiate itself by the extraordinary combination of designing with a focus on climate and sustainability. This park also includes custom-made cross-gym activities and has been supported by the inhabitants in a way I have rarely seen before”, states Line Toft, CEO and owner of LABLAND architects.
While designing the sea park, accessibility has been a keyword: To make it possible to go from one end of the city to another, to have access to nature, to workout places, to take a stroll or, if coming from the elderly home, to be able easily to reach a bench and a nice view:
“Because the citizens as well as the local municipality have been very ambitious about the project and so involved in the project from the very beginning, it has been a very easy and giving dialogue about their different needs and finding solutions. Due to their visionary approach, visiting the park will therefore offer you different surfaces – around the tracks as some wants to run, others to skate and then others like to hear the sound of gravel as they take a walk”, explains Line Toft.
Sea park moving on two legs
While climate was the starting point of Laasby Sea Park, the project soon began moving above and beyond. The more financial reach the project gained, the more original facilities designed for the project actually got implemented. You might say that a second leg was established – a leg all about recreational surroundings for the eyes, for culture in the city, for wellbeing as well as for physical training.
“At this point, Laasby Sea Park is the only park in Europe designed and manufactured specifically for cross-gym, climate change and recreational use”, states Line Toft. She continues:
“Everything in the park built for playing, learning and working out is customised for this park in close cooperation with experts within cross-gym as well as teachers with specific know-how about children’s physical development. To be part of this process, watching the realisation and feeling the backup from the people of the town makes me proud”, she says.
Dialogue with water makes prices rise
Good feelings and nice comments one can feel proud about are one thing. But another hard-hitting fact that Line Toft mentions at the end of the conversation is the fact that the development of the sea park has made real-estate prices within the area go up:
“At Labland, we have been very happy about this project from the very beginning – but realising what a great piece of urban development and image branding we have been part of through this project just enhances the feeling.”
The sea park is arranged and developed so it works with three different levels of water – for normal levels, for 5-year events and for 100-year events. Cross-gym facilities are placed within the existing lake 7. When hit by a 5-year event you will still be able to access the facilities – but part of them will be hidden by water. And with the 100-year event, with massive rain the facilities are still visible as sculptures rather than workout areas.
“You might say that we aim to have a dialogue with the water – so no matter what level the water is at, there´s still something going on”, Line Toft finishes.