Themed landscape park "Wetterpark Offenbach"
Weather phenomenons observing and understanding
Client Planungsverband Frankfurt Rhein/Main Year 2005 Focus Exhibitions & exhibits Contractor Stadt Offenbach Project type Realisation unit Task Conception, design, planning, realisation Project partner Meteorol. information: Deutscher Wetterdienst [German weather service] Manufacturer General contractors: Ambrosius Messebau GmbH unit Employee Peter Eckart und Bernd Hilpert, Bruno Scheffler, Katrin Krell, Jochen Leinberger, Robert Cristinetti, Christiane Both Photography Jörg Baumann, Christian Lauer

Offenbach is the city where “weather is made” and, together with DWD (German weather service) and the first weather station park, Germany’s “weather capital”.
On an area of fallow land covering 20,000 m2, unit-design is creating and developing a permanent exhibition in the public domain for the city of Offenbach, the Planungsverband Rhein-Main [planning association] and the DWD. The project comprises the editorial revision of content, conception and design of exhibits, as well as the integration and planning of the landscaped area – in connection with information and product design, architecture and landscape planning. Exhibit installations and explanatory graphics show the visitor the complex correlations between the weather and its scientific background in an understandable manner. The sensual perception of the various ways in which weather manifests itself and affects humans is encouraged through the call for active observation or interaction. This makes for an interesting visit, not only for those interested in the subject. Families with children or school classes also find interesting ideas in the altercation with the park’s objects.

Wetterpark Offenbach is the first fully-automated weather station that feeds the recorded data into the worldwide meteorological network. The DWD also maintains the phenological gardens, whose job is to observe the climate. The weather station park is fully accessible, a public park complex in the city. The main path through the park is an approx. 1.80 m wide single gravel path that winds through the existing landscape and links together the individual exhibits.
Furthermore, the existing surrounds remain untouched. A creative link for the exhibit stations comes in the form of a wooden platform that projects from the path into the landscape and leads to the exhibits with graphic and text explanations.

With amazing experiences and sound explanations, the exhibit stations explain weather phenomena we come across every day:

“Air pressure: Do you know the weight of air? We have no perception at all of the loads we bear. At this station, you can lift a weight that is equivalent to 27m3 of air. Precisely the amount inside the cube just there. This shows the interplay of the pressure differentials between high and low pressure areas.”

“Atmosphere: The earth’s atmosphere is just as important for us humans as water is for fish. This gaseous envelope comprising various gases is actually our habitat. It protects us from harmful UV rays and is responsible for blue sky, red sky in the morning and red sky at night and all weather patterns.”

“Sun: The sun is the engine beneath our weather. It allows day and night, the seasons, wind and weather to emerge. Read the time of day from a sundial and experience the correlations between sun, radiance and energy. Feel, on the unit’s matt black substrate, how the sun’s rays convert into heat.”

Wetterpark Offenbach is a focal point for a plethora of activities. Supported by the DWD and the City of Offenbach, a group of sponsors is organising an events program that will offer primarily children tours and experimentation afternoons.

Over for the long term, the weather station park will enhance and safeguard the fallow landscape area on Buchhügel in Offenbach am Main as a quality greenbelt area for rest and relaxation. The weather station park is part of the Rhein-Main regional park is funded by a European programme for the sustained development of the regions (SOS). Just one year after opening, it has been possible to influence an existing development plan for a nearby commercial area.

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