Obituary of Helmut Schwahn, Landscape Architect bdla and former Horticultural Director

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The bdla Bavaria mourns the death of former garden director Helmut Schwahn, who passed away in Munich on 10 January 2019.

Born in Göppingen on April 5, 1931, he shaped the development of green spaces in the state capital of Munich from the end of the 1950s until his retirement in 1994.

His maternal grandfather already operated a horticultural business in Heidenheim a. d. Brenz as Friedrich Lang. His grandson Helmut Schwahn, who was only 13 years old, also took up the profession of gardener during the Second World War and completed an apprenticeship at the Straub nursery in his home town. After years at the Pfänder nursery in Beuren/Württemberg and at the Stier landscaping company in Stuttgart, he went to Freising and studied landscape architecture at what is now the Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences from 1953 to 1955.

After graduating, he joined the Munich City Garden Directorate, for which he had already worked during the semester breaks. Promoted by city garden director Josef Höllerer (1903-1987), he was responsible for new planning in Munich at an early stage and rose to become head of the planning department and deputy head of the garden department. For more than three decades, Munich's urban green spaces and green corridors, a multitude of district sports facilities, outdoor facilities at schools, etc., but also the Possenhofen recreational facility at Lake Starnberg, which was realized by the City of Munich, were designed at his drawing table in the Eduard-Schmid-Str..

Helmut Schwahn's most important works are the 56-hectare Ostpark, the Drei-Seen-Platte in the north of Munich and the Durchblickpark in Obermenzing, where the inclusion of agricultural use was a particular concern of his. Furthermore, the Denninger Anger, the Würm green corridor, the green corridor "In den Kirschen"/Nederling and the green space in the former brickworks in Lochhausen, where an existing biotope was integrated for the first time in 1982.

In addition, Schwahn was involved in the design of the Würzburg State Garden Show 1990 (Talavera and others) as 2nd prize winner. He was a lecturer at the Oskar von Miller Polytechnic in Munich and at the Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences, a member of the federal working group "Planzeichenverordnung" (Head Ralph Gälzer), a long-standing member of the BDLA and the representative assembly of the Bavarian Chamber of Architects. His two sons Michael and Matthias run landscape architecture offices in Munich.

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