The Other Park


Rheinstraße (former Mark-Twain-Village)
69126 Heidelberg | Südstadt conversion site

Project Partner

City of Heidelberg, Landscape Office

Contact Person

Moritz Bellers


With the conversion of the former military sites in Heidelberg’s Südstadt, an innovative green and outdoor complex is being developed for the new district: »The Other Park«. »The structures of power and control shaped this site – we are reinterpreting them: They are becoming places of encounter – between people, the past, and ideas,« explains landscape architect and urban planner Robin Winogrond, who is in charge of designing the park. »Through spatial exploration of the history of the Grossdeutschland Barracks and then the Mark Twain Village and the Campbell Barracks as the US Army and NATO European Headquarters, the district is developing a new independence.«

The landscape architecture firm Studio Vulkan won the urban planning competition back in 2018 with its sensitive and precise design. The plan relies on atmospherically dense open spaces, which are connected by a striking network of pathways. These pathways were made using materials resulting from demolition on the site. Studio Vulkan cleverly reinterprets the military sites giving them new purposes and at the same time manages to keep the past alive with specific reminiscences. Thus, the former parade ground is now a forum for meetings and encounters, while the erstwhile chapel has become a district center. The adjoining common ground forms a square that local residents can bring to life with their own uses with a communally run recreation and play area. A wide range of different atmospheres will thus shape the face of the Other Park: from »Civic Park« via playground and events zone through to the Mark Twain Center’s garden. The entire grounds with the various historical layers will be legible as an archive of the past and a platform of knowledge for the future.

The Federal Government funded the concept developed by the IBA as part of its National Urban Development Project program. Throughout the entire process, the City of Heidelberg, in cooperation with the IBA, relied on the involvement of citizens and future residents, who were able to submit their requests and ideas for the new citizens’ park. Alongside public citizens’ forums and ´close involvement of young people, a »Green Belt of Knowledge Working Party« was set up as an advisory body. It consisted of 30 representatives of the administration and externally appointed experts, and was supported by local politicians, stakeholders and a structured public.


It is truly a challenge to reinvent areas formerly used for military purposes in such a way that the history of the place is not lost and at the same time the public space becomes the flagship of a new neighborhood. The task calls for sensitivity and a high level of design competence – as well as a process that involves those who, as residents, users, or local experts, offer valuable advice on how to deal with the terrain.


May 2016

(IBA) application for National Urban Development Projects

October 2016

Nominated as an IBA Project

November 2016

Federal funding under the National Urban Development Projects program (5.9 million euros)

December 2016

Expert workshop and working group of local residents for the competition launch

July 2017

Decision on Phase 1 architecture competition

September 2017

Colloquium on multiple commissioning

January 2018

Winner of Phase 2 of the architecture competition

June 2018

Start of the developer’s regular »jour-fixe« meetings

May 2020

Groundbreaking ceremony

February 2021

Sponsorship brochure for media installation

October 2021

Usage contract with network for the grounds in question

December 2021

Commissioning of core areas

August 2022

Completion of peripheral areas