Blumau was a small, quiet town in East Styria: 350 inhabitants, very few jobs, agriculturally cultivated land, mainly part-time farmers. An unobtrusive implicitness characterized the village until the thermal spa, designed by the painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser, hit like a comet. 600 hotel beds, 180,000 overnight stays, nearly as many one-day visitors, and 250 new jobs are the striking numbers of a phenomenal growth.
It was necessary to develop a new landscape that connects the thermal spa with the village and, so to speak, draws the visitors into the village, but is also accepted by the locals at the same time. The Safenbach stream forms the actual backbone of the landscape park, which is 13 hectares large in its final stage. The main footpath of the park leads along the stream; east of the Safenbach a basic spatial layout was developed by seven “dancing tree strips” of native tree species planted in an offset manner. These follow the field distribution for the most part and create a permeable compartmentalization of the area that is not too rigidly arranged and leaves attractive views open.
This basic frame, complemented by fruit groves (cider apples, cider pears, walnuts) in the common area of the theme park, constitutes the trusted element that refers to the history and tradition. Park-like enclaves have been created upon this background: solitary plantings of exotic trees and shrubs and an approximately 1,500 m² pond. Designs that incorporate familiar agricultural crops in an alienated form constitute a further stratum. The depth of processing reaches to all the way to the design of the park furniture.
On the basis of the preceding landscape design a development plan was also created for the southern section of the park (dedication: recreational area). Two wooden bridges over the Safenbach complete the design and likewise form the precondition for the future development in the southern section: for the linking and accessibility of the small guest houses and wine restaurants expected there.