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Graphic Concrete in Landscape Architecture


Kalkparken i Faxe is a beautiful project that uses graphic concrete in landscape architecture in a remarkable way.

The project is designed by landscape architect Ellen Schelde, who was inspired by the local limestone and wanted to convey the history of the nearby limestone quarry through her design. The path that leads to the edge of the limestone quarry and geological museum is visible when entering the park. Patterned graphic concrete plinths act as a stairway, spreading through the park’s gently sloping terrain and leading up to the limestone quarry. As the local limestone is fragile, the designer chose durable concrete to tell the stories of the ancient fossils discovered within the layers of limestone.

The plinths – made from a total of 230 concrete elements – display intriguing images that are cast onto the graphic concrete. The plinths are made from a mixture of white concrete and extra-white cement, and were prefabricated by Århus Cementvarefabrik A/S.

Morten Schelde is the artist behind the images displayed on the plinths. His illustrations present a fascinating timeline of fossils from different periods of the quarry’s history. 

Etched into the surface of the concrete, the images are discreetly revealed, as they would appear in the quarry walls. While walking along the park's main path, visitors can follow the timeline, which covers a huge expanse of time. It starts with an asteroid hitting the earth approximately 65 million years ago, moves on to the fossils of the Danian Age and the Ice Age, and ends in the present day with children chiseling at fossils in the limestone quarry - a popular activity in the quarry today. 

The stark white plinths representing the chalk colour are situated in a large lawn surface as a dark contrasting base for this beautiful work of art. Their staggered placement on the lawn refers to the geological stratification found in the quarry. They create a park where children can play and visitors can rest - a perfect place to enjoy nature and immerse yourself in the history of our earth.  In the evening, the plinths are illuminated from below, highlighting the park's layered structure and the fantastic artwork that reveals it's ancient history.

Project details 
Architect: Studio Schelde Landskabsdesign
Engineer: MOE A /S
Contractor: Karise Anlæg & Byg A / S
Developer: Faxe Municipality
Precaster: Århus Cementvarefabrik A / S
Pattern: Designer’s own Repeating Pattern by Artist Morten Schelde 
Colour: Light (extra white cement)
Photo Credits: Århus Cementvarefabrik A/S & Studio Schelde Landskabsdesign