My connections to the town of Biberach an der Rises went back a long way, and had been strengthened by my relocation to Atten-weiler, approximately 8 km away from Biberach. My artistic activities in the area had previously been confined to a few exhibitions held in Biber-ach, and my first serious contact with the local planning authorities was in 1995.

Studio Name: Hans Dieter Schaal
Design Team: Armin Teufel
Area: 88400 Biberach / Riss, Germany
Year: 1997-2007
Location: Wieland-Park Biberach
Consultants: Pro Grünraum, Elisabeth Kimmich,
Photography Credits: Armin Teufel, Peter Horn

Wielandpark in Biberach an der Riss by Hans Dieter Schaal - Sheet4
©Armin Teufel, Peter Horn

It was thanks to the then Oberbürgermeister Claus-Wilhelm Hoff-mann that a year later the city asked if I would beinterested in taking on the park project. Unlike most of the municipal councils in Upper Swabia, he prioritized art and culture. Together with urban planning director Ogertschnig, we took a look at the site. It was surrounded by unremarkable build-ings: a former department store, a cinema, a kindergarten and some semi-derelict urban villas. It did, however, have one remarkable feature: onthe north side of the site, hidden between nonde-script houses, were two small baroque gardenhouses. In the 18th century, the town’s most fa-mous former resident – Christoph Martin Wieland had used them as places to write. The ac-tual planning phase began in 1997 and ended when the initial phase of construction was com-pleted in 2001.

Wielandpark in Biberach an der Riss by Hans Dieter Schaal - Sheet5
©Armin Teufel, Peter Horn

A conversion and extension pro-cess took place from 2005 to 2007, after an ob-structing house had been demolished and theneigh bouring department store had been con-verted into a new Landratsamt (district office). A guide for tourists with an interest in architec-ture describes the park as follows:

»A new park has been integrated into the exist-ing development. Inspired by the historic garden house of the poet Christoph Martin Wieland, situ-ated on the edge of the park, the new park design features a fictional dialogue between Wieland and the French philosopher Rousseau –both central figures of the Enlightenment. In a metaphor for the conflict between social order and free human de-velopment, the route system, the design of the different areas and the scenic architecture motifs contrast strictly formal garden architecture with wild-growing nature.

Wielandpark in Biberach an der Riss by Hans Dieter Schaal - Sheet7
©Armin Teufel, Peter Horn

Other features bring a more modern media art element into the park. The visitor progresses through a fabric of associations like the viewer of a film. A rotunda of poplars is remi-niscent of the island where Rousseau was buried.

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