Gellerup Bypark

2nd Prize:
Gellerup Bypark (Denmark)

Designed in the typical architectural style of 1960s modernism with un-programed areas between the houses, Gellerup is one of Denmark’s largest social housing estates with many social, cultural and economic challenges.

Central to the recent transformation into an attractive part of Aarhus was adding a natural and human scale. It is here that the 230.000 m² Gellerup Bypark plays a central part. The design by SLA makes the area safer by creating more and better social opportunities and activities. The concept is based on an extensive citizens-engagement process and expert knowledge in safety, marginalized social groups and how to alleviate socially and physically challenging neighborhoods.

In the design, nature was both removed and supplied. The wildernesses that created insecurity was removed and varied nature typologies supplied. New curving paths throughout the park improve the accessibility and visibility. Finally, more than 2.000 trees were planted, selected based on their functional, social and aesthetic capabilities. The trees provide an extremely large species variation. This is a conscious homage to Gellerup’s large ethnic and cultural diversity. The many varied species also make the park more robust to climate change and potential diseases.