NON-THEME PARK

Edited by: Riccardo Del Fabbro  riccardodelfabbro@gmail.com

Where: SpreePark, Berlin

Photo by: Giulia Bonisoli

SILENTARCHITECTURE

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The Spreepark(Kulturpark Plänterwald) was an entertainment park in the north of the Plänterwald in the Berlin district Treptow-Köpenick. This 30 hectares green area opened in 1969, and was the only theme park in the former East Germany. Since 2002 the park is closed.(fig.1)

fig.1

The entertainment seems to be over, or maybe not?
Some discolored dinosaurs and a rusted Ferris wheel want to tell us a new aspect of this landscape, something that we can’t imagine before.
Its main attraction, to distract and entertain families, creates a cultural dependency in terms of impulses and turns this entertainment landscape self-referential (THEME PARK), disconnected from the city, an abuse which turns trivial, a continuous repetition of mechanical activities without variables, which makes its possible qualities noxious.(fig. 2)

fig.-2
Its identity is based on nothing, space has no meaning, there is no time.
Somehow his role is denied, the reason for which it was created is reversed, it disappears.
Times goes by.
Now we are facing with a”amusements desert park”, we feel that the experience of the park itself has led to it being abandoned, tryng to reach a new relationship with the city and its inhabitants.
IT BECOME A NON-THEME PARK.
The “Non-Theme Park” emphasizes the old negative aspects on which was based in the past, reactivating its own identity, giving meaning and making the space stimulant, giving a true temporal location of the experience.(fig. 3)

fig.-3
“Let us say that one goes on a fictitious trip if one decides to go to the site of the Non-Site. The “trip” becomes invented, devised, artificial; therefore, one might call it a non-trip to a site from a Non-site.” *
According to Robert Smithson idea of Non-Site, it is possible to find the meaning of this abandoned landscape.
So, can we say that the concept of fun takes a negative meaning and the essence of the abandoned appears to be a positive notion?
Speaking of landscape architecture all the elements of this area are revalued and gives itself new functions, mechanical and predetermined paths become places of less interest and less frequented, the damaged attractions are no longer attractions but sculptures that mark the time, the real attractions are the rears, the places where there are mechanisms that once there were hidden, spaces apparently without values that flourish and become exciting multifunctional spaces.(fig. 4)

fig.-4
We are dealing with the activation of a denial.
Finally, We’re having fun spontaneously in a Non-Theme Park.
So, could we have fun in a real Theme Park?

 

 

* “A Provisional Theory of Non-Sites” from Unpublished Writings in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, edited by Jack Flam, published University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2nd Edition 1996

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