The Village Green at Playing/Field Marzahn is badly missed.
Yesterday, the first gardeners’ association meeting of the year happened at the community garden Spiel/Feld Marzahn [Playing/Field Marzahn] in Berlin, Germany. About 15 people came to discuss how best to prepare the new gardening season, what to plant, build and repair, how to engage with the neighbourhood and when to come together and celebrate.
One subject that caused a lot of discussion was the letter of a neighbour to the gardeners’ association. The elderly resident had written in the name of several local residents to express her deep regrets that the Dorfplatz [Village Green] had been dismantled last year. The resident had even written to the local mayor to ask for help in reinstating the lost meeting place.
The Dorfplatz had been designed and built in 2014 for Spiel/Feld by landscape architecture students of the TU Berlin taught by Katrin Bohn. It served the community every since as an open meeting place in the middle of the large green area that also contains the Spiel/Feld community garden. The position and construction of the entirely wooden structure was chosen through land-art based investigations and in consultation with the community gardeners. Since 2014, it had been used for many of the community garden parties and events. As an open and freely accessible location, it became a desired spot of repose for many neighbours, young and old. Unfortunately, since about 2018, the Dorfplatz was repeatedly vandalised by rowdy teenagers new to the neighbourhood and, after several repairs, had to be taken down for safety reasons.
During the gardeners’ meeting, we discussed various options of how to deal with the neighbour’s letter. The one thing the author wants to mention here is that until the letter arrived, the gardeners and Dorfplatz carers hat not known how much people in the neighbourhood loved that place too…
For information on the community garden see its own website.
For more information on the design of the Spiel/Feld project see here.
For more information on the Dorfplatz see it being described and illustrated in this publication.
Image: Within the Playing/Field project, the Dorfplatz, a deck / bench / planting bed, was designed and built by TU Berlin students with help from resident-gardeners. (source: Tobias Birkefeld, Carlo Costabel, Peter Müller, Joshua Obliers 2014)