Sewer pipes, neon signs and other everyday objects used to create Copenhagen multi-ethnic park

A recently opened Super Park in Copenhagen uses 100 objects from more than 60 cultures to reflect its multi-ethnic community.

Superkilen - image: Iwan Baan
Superkilen - image: Iwan Baan

The project, conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice involving everyday objects from different cultures, was a "rare fusion of landscape, art and architecture, landscape", said its designers.

Objects range from sewage drains from Israel, palm trees from China and neon signs from Qatar while a bike path runs through the park to help integrate the new space into the broader city.

Berlin-based landscape architect Topotek1 worked with urban designer BIG  and art group Superflex on the kilometer-long Superkilen urban park wedging through the north of the Danish capital. It was the result of an invited competition run by City of Copenhagen.

Throughout the E13.4m Superkilen red maple, Japanese cherry and Lebanese cedar trees offer shade and spatial interest. Diversity of trees and plants aims to complement the diversity of the site furniture in three main areas including a linear park and two squares.

Topotek1 designer Martin Rein-Cano said: "Romantic gardens of the 19th Century gave visitors an exotic experience of a world that was still big and hard to travel around, allowing people to witness a Chinese pagoda or a Greek temple.

"The Super Park in Copenhagen does the opposite. Rather than perpetuating a perception of Denmark as a monoethnic people, the Super Park portrays a true sample of the cultural diversity of contemporary Copenhagen", 

A project spokeswoman said: "Three areas form the backdrop to the surrealist collection of global urban diversity of more than 100 objects from 60 cultures, which reflect the true nature of the local neighbourhood.  Objects were selected in talks with locals.

"Rather than a public outreach process towards the lowest common denominator or a politically correct post rationalization we proposed public participation as the driving force of the design leading towards the maximum freedom of expression."

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