Building and property development | Landscaping
The reflection of nature and its interplay with people, including its historical use, is vital. Preservation, maintenance and development of the entire site are essential objectives, as is the recreational value for the people living in the surrounding area. The areas above the manor are of special importance for the project.
Improvement of the grounds
The meetings with the city council and the administrative district office have been completed. Now the grounds of the Europe Center can be transformed in an ecologically valuable way in five phases – another extensive construction project that is started simultaneously with the construction of the new building.
Now at first view, the question of why the grounds have to be transformed directly also is certainly justified. After all, this is connected with a considerable financial effort for the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation. The best answer to this question was given by Armin Schaupp, the mayor of Immenstadt, in his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony in early April: “You haven’t made it easy on yourself. You can feel that there is quality behind the work, that the team of architects has looked at what gives this place harmony, what gives it radiance. That is extremely important. And for that, truly, my deep respect.”
And with “place”, the building contractor and the team of architects have had an eye on the whole project from the start: the new building PLUS the grounds.
Therefore now the hillside areas will be leveled, in a form typical for the Allgäu countryside – terraces. These levels, which were formerly used for the cultivation of flax, can be used during the summer camp as an area for small private tents and at the same time be cultivated agriculturally. The bulks of earth that are dug up during the excavation of the new building will be used specifically for this purpose.
The Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation was fine-tuning this terracing for a long time. Over a period of many months, a plan was developed in collaboration with conservation agencies and landscaping experts that intended these terraces to have height differences of up to four meters. The goal: less terraces and, at the same time, more protected areas for flora and fauna.
For the city council of Immenstadt, this plan was already decided on. Unfortunately, it turned out eventually that this variant could not be approved because of formal legal reasons. This is because the legally binding land-use plan allows only terracing with height differences of up to two meters for Gut Hochreute. The foundation regrets this, because now more terraces are needed and so the initial goal, the improvement of landscape and nature conservation is not reached in the envisaged form.
Another particular challenge for landscape architects was to improve the water situation in an all-encompassing way. The water, part of which was flowing in an uncontrolled manner from the slopes up to now, will be held longer in the landscape in future. Additionally, honoring the history of the property, a former open-flowing stream system will be reopened. Designers and conservationists agree: In this way, an ecological improvement of the entire area, but also specifically of the outskirts of the designated habitat areas, will be achieved in the long term. The slopes of the terraces will develop into biotopes and will connect the existing biotopes in the large gorges.
The effect on the general appearance of the landscape was considered in particular in the planning. In the future, specifically positioned, loosely planted high trees, for example, will hide the large tents from view during the summer camp.
The planting of new trees and shrub stocks is guided by the historical background. Fruit trees, such as apple, pear, plum, and medlar, will be planted. And as for the wild fruit species, the landscape architects plan mostly black cherry, mountain ash and rowan. In total, over 150 trees will be planted along the road and as orchards, so that all hikers can enjoy the trail even more and can once in a while sit on a bench in the shade.