The city of Gelsenkirchen approached us in 2007 about creating two play areas for its city center. Presumably the architects had become aware of us through our work in the town center of Heilbronn. The project was for the station forecourt and the nearby Preute Square whose design was supposed to relate to Gelsenkirchen’s „Zoom” animal park. This is a truly outstanding zoo that has put into place an innovative concept for keeping and presenting the animals.

We were faced with the following on-site conditions: Preute Square is a narrow pedestrian zone with little room and offering no fall protection. In picking up the recommended theme, we chose to design “Polar bears standing on an ice floe”. As part of our design suggestion, we declared the ice floe to be a part of the fall impact protection measures. In other words, the concrete foundation was cast in ice floe form and installed on-site at Preute Square. Subsequently it was coated with a rubber granule coating (blue) to offer fall protection.

The “polar bears“on Preute Square were completed in 2008. They are both a climbing object and point visitors in the direction of the zoo. The two polar bear silhouettes, standing across from each other (composite panel, weather resistant, lacquer paint) are joined by various climbing elements (nets, rods, wooden deck) and mounted into the concrete ice floe with steel anchors.