Stühlinger Park, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Steel painted with polyurethane enamel
Two elements, in an area approximately 6,000 sq. ft. (557.4 sq. m)
Faucet: 35 ft. 5 in. x 8 ft. 12 in. x 7 ft. 1 in. (10.8 x 2.7 x 2.2 m)
Hose: 410 ft. (125 m) long x 20 in. (0.5 m) diameter
Commissioned June 1980 by the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, with donations from local sources
Installed April 1983
Inaugurated May 2, 1983
In 1979 we were asked to submit a proposal for a competition to design a sculpture for a park being developed along with a technical high school in the university town of Freiburg-im-Breisgau on the Rhine in western Germany.
The site had originally been an area of allotment gardens, little parcels of flowers and vegetables cultivated by local citizens, such as those Coosje remembered from her childhood in the Netherlands. A prominent object in such gardens is the hose for watering the plants, which seemed to Coosje a potential subject for a sculpture. It could be seen among other things as a kind of homage or monument to the displaced gardens.
We submitted a proposal describing the large-scale version of a hose and faucet we envisioned, adapted to the scale and plan for the park, a baroque composition with coils on the ground and swooping, rollercoaster-like arches of hose overhead, a sculpture that would encompass much of the space; it was the largest work we had designed so far.
After a long discussion, the jury chose our project. According to Klaus Humpert, the city architect who would design the park, the proposal was "at first irritating" but "a fascination with its many meanings soon developed." Humpert set about designing a formal, symmetrical park that would accentuate the active character of the Gartenschlauch, planting chestnut trees around the edges to serve as a background for the sculpture.
The "hose" we designed has a diameter of 50cm. The "faucet", 11m high, is topped by a handle in a hard edged geometrical cross form that alludes to the insignia of the city and echoes the plain architecture of a nearby church tower. Its vertical posture is in sharp contrast to the circumambulating "hose" attached to it. 125 meters of tubing was required for the "hose", which, after its coils and swoops, ends at the brink of an artificial pool. A small amount of water flows continuously from the end of the "hose" into the pool, making the Gartenschlauch a fountain of sorts, in a reticent way.
The only factory in Europe which could produce the tubing needed for the Gartenschlauch was the Mannesmannröhren Werke in Mülheim, Germany, which had fabricated the gas pipe line linking Europe and Russia. We were afraid the Gartenschlauch would be too costly to realize, but Mannesmann agreed to produce the sculpture within the budget of the commission. An engineer at the plant devised a special method of curving the tubes to prevent deformation -- an invention so original that he was able to apply for a patent on the procedure. Thirty sections of carefully formed and fitted pipe were trucked to Freiburg-im-Breisgau together with the faucet elements. In the spring of 1983, the Gartenschlauch was assembled and painted on site in a complex installation that lasted over a month.
Back to Large-Scale Projects
Top of Page