Guiding through diversity

A project by Mathias Neitzel, Inken Reimer, Marisa Santos

Wittenbergener Heide is located in the east of Hamburg and is accessible by public transport, car or bicycle. In the current situation the nature reserve has an overloaded structure of paths. For a better orientation, a new path hierarchy organizes the reserve.


NeitzelReimerSantos_Entwurf_Grafik 1The new path network adds more structure and easier pathfinding to the area.

In this concept the main paths provide direct connection inside the area and the secondary paths are smaller and focus on a distinct natural and sensory experience. The main path is made up of a waterbound surface to provide the possibility of low barrier traversion while not sealing the ground. For the overall path system it is essential to remove some of the existing paths to concentrate the experience on certain spaces and leave room for succession.

NeitzelReimerSantos_Entwurf_Grafik 2Main path with waterbound covering running through the Heide without limitations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASecondary path in the forest. The surface stays as natural as it is right now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFree-walking area in the dunes, limited by the forest.

In the reserve, different types of landscapes need individual maintenance. In case of the sandy areas human trampling is necessary. For this reason the third type of path without boundaries, the free-walking areas, should support this process. In case of the heather a guidance of which plants to remove should motivate visitors to participate in maintaining these areas.

NeitzelReimerSantos_Entwurf_Grafik 5Landscape types and maintenance.

To highlight specific natural phenomena, history of the area or maintenance information, panels made of corten steel should call attention to these points and also to new interventions. These include a canopy platform in the treetops as well as an viewpoint above the Elbwiesen. The structures have the purpose to add natural experiences that are not yet available.

Description on the information panel of how to participate in the heather, Highlighting the shape of an intricate pine tree, Possibility of climbing the ramp helps the process of erosion, The canopy platform provides a closer observation of the biocoenosis in the tree tops, The Elbwiesen viewpoint opens the wet meadows for visitors‘ experiences

NeitzelReimerSantos_Entwurf_Grafik 7

Panel choreography to enhance the experience for the visitor

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