European Garden Award 2014
Since its start in 2000 the Autostadt, as the Volkswagen Group’s theme park and communications platform, has engaged with themes and values which are fundamental to responsible business practice. Since 2006 themes like environmental protection and social responsibility have been brought together under the heading of sustainable development.
A highly moving and contrasting, vivid, complex, dense and artistic landscape, predominantly hilly and with a lot of water forms the site of the Autostadt, created by WES LandschaftsArchitektur. Peninsulas with hard edges are combined with peninsulas with soft and smooth transition into the water. A landscape that captures the individual building, wraps and links it, but also creates and provides a very unique location for each pavilion.
The green and the colours of the plants and shrubs and the hills create gentle breaks between the individual architectural elements. Along the banks of the Mittelland Canal willows were planted and on the promenade plane trees and pines. On the riverside path the light is bright while under the umbrella of the promenade it is rather shady. These opposites of yin and yang, soft and hard, shady and sunny, male and female, shape the landscape composition.
Passing the Zeithaus (time house) and the Forum the promenade leads up to the Piazzetta, a quiet and sunny place between the two pavilions for Porsche and Volkswagen. This place with a pond and a fountain invites visitors to relax and to recharge.
Every year at springtime the Autostadt’s park prepares itself for a spectacular event: the renewal of Olafur Eliasson’s Dufttunnel (Scent Tunnel). Until autumn the tunnel is filled with different flowers in more than 2000 flower pots.
Recently new gardens were added to the Autostadt, one of it is called “Doing Nothing”. The jury agreed on Autostadt as one finalist because on the overall concept and themes, but also because they are always “Doing Something”.