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The Concrete Garden

The "Concrete Garden" is an exhibition garden for the Garden Festival in Brandenburg an der Havel in 2015 representing the concrete industry of north Germany. The garden is being built on  a 200m2 site adjacent to other theme gardens. It was planned and detailed by Landscape Architecture students with the support of the client and the project supervisor simon colwill. The garden will be opened in april 2015 and dismanteled at the end of the festival in october.

The project was run initially as a design competition amoungst 51 Landscape Architecture students during the winter semester 2013/14. The winning two designs were then developed in detail before the final decision was made. Engineering students at the HS Magdeburg-Stendal have taken on the task of producing many of the special elements and surfaces. The project will however mainly be implemented using prefabricated elements and a specialist construction firm.

Technical Description

The main construction material was of course concrete. The planting was designed to flower at various stages between April and October. Many differing types of concrete and surface finishes were incorporated into the design, some of which were newly developed in the concrete laboratory at the University of Magdeburg-Stendal.

Concrete surfaces included:  

"Blue Ornamental Concrete" A highly polished blue tinted concrete slab with a 5 - 10 mm recessed lettering and a 2 mm recessed graphic (Oggie Beton)

"Polygonal Paving" Concrete slabs anthracite gray-nuanced in Polygonalformat.

"Concrete planks" Concrete imitation wood planking, laid diagonally.

"Glass-concrete ground" Blue glass granulate replaced gravel in the concrete production process and then the entire surface was ground (University of Magdeburg-Stendal)

"Glass and concrete" Coloured glass plates with stainless steel borders set into a concrete surface (University of Magdeburg-Stendal)

"Concrete Pigments" Concrete with the addition of mineral pigments (University of Magdeburg-Stendal)

"H² experiment" Concrete slab with the University of Magdeburg-Stendal logo (University of Magdeburg-Stendal)

"Irregular Grass Paving" Irregular concrete Paviours with basalt chips as grout.

"Pebbled concrete" Concrete slab with light grey or brown pebbles set into the surface.

"Blue Concrete Lettering" Precast concrete letters (University of Magdeburg-Stendal)


Pavillion structure
The roof structure was implemented using prefabricated elements and a specialist construction firm. Support was needed from a structural engineer to complete the planning. The "floating concrete roof structure" with recessed wooden slats is supported by six steel supports. This creates a shadow play on the terrace and shows how wood and concrete harmonise. The wooden slats were prepared and assembled ​​by carpenter and student Paul Walter (TU Berlin)

We used different techniques on each sides of the walls. Stone mason and student Marc Fettke (TU Berlin ) hammered the inside of the wall to create an artistic surface design bringing out the internal structure of the concrete. Photo - concrete on the outside shows the individual design potential of concrete.

Pool and fountain
The pool at the rear of the show garden with custom made fountain shows the combination possibilities of various concrete surfaces and other materials. The fountain is made up of moulded concreate surfaces, the water falls from different levels and cerates various sound intensities. These effects are achieved by the different rotation angles of the individual plates.


The Garden Show has now closed

We thank everyone for their help and support, especially all the students and concrete firms that took part in this project.

The planning authority plans to dismantle all the feature gardens after the garden show has finished.

The Garden Show has opened ....

The Concrete Garden is now complete and can be viewed until 11. October at the BUGA- Packhofgelände in Brandenburg an der Havel in Germany.

We thank all our cooperation partners for their hard work.

Client / Project coordination:


Dipl.-Ing. W.Schäfer

BetonMarketing Nordost GmbH

Teltower Damm 155, 14167 Berlin    


Cooperation DesignBuild Studio Landschaftsarchitektur:

BA Hons. DIP Hons. Simon Colwill

Technische Universität Berlin

Institut für Landschaftsarchitektur und Umweltplanung

Fachgebiet Landschaftsbau - Objektbau

Cooperation Concrete Laboratory:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Ahlers

Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal

Fachbereich Bauwesen

Lehrgebiet Baustoffkunde

And many other producers of concrete elements  from the region (see broschure)

Related Documents

Broschure_CONCRETE GARDEN_BuGa.pdf


The main construction works are almost complete

The construction of the main elements of the garden is almost complete. The wall and roof foundations have becoome larger end the roof element thicker, however the overal image remains as planned. The last few larger concrete Elements will be delivered next week, after this time we will no longer be able to reach the site with heavy vehicles. We hope to plant the garden with container plants whilst the weather remains so mild.

"Concrete Garden" Design Competition Results

On 03 February 2014 the jury, consisting of representatives of the Technical University of Berlin and the Beton Marketing Northeast, met to awarded the first three prizes. The winning garden design will be implemented from september and will be opened in April 2015.

1) Concrete²


2) Floating Islands

3) The Lightness of Stone


Der Betongarten; Ein Beitrag zur Bundesgartenschau 2015 in Brandenburg an der Havel (PDF)




Open Space Collective - Department for Landscape ConstructionTechnische Universität BerlinLandscape ArchitectureSimon Colwill
Betonmarketing Nordost
TeachingDipl.-Ing. Christian Ranck, Fachgebiet Vegetationstechnik und Pflanzenverwendung- TU Berlin
Project ImplementationProf. Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Ahlers, FH Magdeburg-Stendal – Civil Engineering Department
Simon Colwill (Expert)Christian Ranck (Teacher/Educator)Marc Fettke (Craftsmen)Paul Walter (Craftsmen)
Betonmarketing Nordost


Landscape Architecture 51 Students
Master Landscape Architecture


Site 200m2
Project Start:2014
Year of Completion:2015
Life span:12 month(s)
Design Period3 Months
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