Kassel | Königsplatz

Waterspouts at the Königsplatz, Kassel

The Königsplatz (King’s Square) is located in the centre of the documenta city Kassel, in the federal state of Hesse. The circular urban plaza, literally at the geographic centre of Kassel, was built by court architect Simon Louis du Ry in 1787 after the fortified wall around the city had been removed.  A master plan for the city centre was recently formulated in order to strengthen the downtown area and to tie in with the previously developed urban framework plan. Among other things, the master plan is concerned with the attractive and functional design of public streets and squares.  In the course of renewing Kassel’s city centre, municipal administrators wished to develop a design concept involving the use of water for the Königsplatz. They wanted a concept that would fit in with the existing urban ensemble and yet  take the plaza’s historic shape and significance into account. The use of the plaza for a wide variety of events and consideration of the tram lines running through its centre served as the functional cornerstones of the design programme. 36 waterspouts were installed in a circle within the inner ring of plane trees. The design thus picks up on the geometry and ideas du Ry developed for the square. As a result, a new interplay of geometric and amorphous shapes develops between the layout of the city and the waterspouts, and analogies to various significant periods and constructions of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning in Kassel are made, such as for example the Wilhelmshöhe with its water games. Above all, however, the invigorating effect and intrinsic value of water as an element comes to the fore.

Location: Kassel / Germany

Client: Kassel Municipality / Dezernat für Verkehr, Umwelt, Stadtentwicklung, Bauen