Les Grands Paysages | Hanover

Hanover – Landscape as Metaphor         

Most people think of a few well-known images when they think of the typical landscape in and around Hanover: the Leine River, the Maschsee (a large artificial lake in the centre of the city), the Eilenriede (a forest and park), the Herrenhausen Gardens, the Welfenschloss, and Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nanas. They all testify to the importance that gardens and the landscape have had in Hanover over the centuries.  The city and its surrounding landscape are among the greenest areas in all of Germany.  The attribute ‘The City of Gardens’ has been reinforced through the urban development projects The City as Garden, the Garden Region Hanover, and Hanover Creates Space, with which, on the occasion of the Expo 2000 and afterwards, numerous open space projects were built or improved upon, including the Allmende am Kronsberg and the gardens at the World Exposition.

Through the ensemble Gardens in Transition, Expo Park South, and Parc Agricole the theme of transition in the sense of ‘panta rei - everything flows’ was transferred to the landscape. Insofar as transition is a fundamental phenomenon of landscape and its design, in this concept landscape served as a projection space for various landscape, park, and garden ideas, as well as a symbol of transition, becoming a metaphor itself. This approach was certainly in accordance with the city’s relationship to gardens.

The Hanover City 2020 programme, which followed the World Exposition will change the city's image even further.  It promotes a theoretical urban dialogue, a new concept for inner-city development based on the city's history, and international planning competitions for selected intervention sites. The redesign of the area surrounding the opera as a result of a design workshop is part of a process to strengthen the city’s urban identity, including its open space facilities.  In the heart of the city a newly designed plaza symbolizes the extensive influence gardens have always had in the city.  The arabesques are dedicated to the opera and the Herrenhausen Gardens, and are an associative reference to an additional landscape as metaphor in ‘The City of Gardens’.