Rewitalizacja parku

Revitalising a historic park in the city centre. The place is now teeming with life

Stéphanie Park, located in the historic fortification belt of the town of Prachatice, was originally a garden, established in 1881 on the initiative of local residents. In the mid-20th century, this green enclave was transformed into a public park. The post-war construction of a nearby housing estate brought significant changes to the surroundings. However, this transformation took place without adapting the park to its new context, resulting in its isolation and gradual degradation. Over the years, the diversity of plant species has declined, leading to the loss of the original character of the establishment. The neglect has turned the green enclave into a desolate place, isolated from the city. The planned revitalisation of the park was intended to give it back to the residents.

The primary aim of the revitalisation was to restore the park’s beauty and adapt it to the modern needs of visitors. The new design breathed life into the site, drawing on its past. The architects from the M2AU Group office followed the historical compositional axis, accentuating the park’s former fence, including the two entrance pillars. Most importantly, the park now opens up to its surroundings, extending natural pedestrian routes that weave the park into the fabric of the city. The contrast between the present and the past is also embodied in the careful selection of materials, trees and plants.

The design takes into account the existing trees that form the basic structure of the park. It also enriches the site with new plantings, highlighting the original biodiversity. A tapestry of shrubs and plants is provided under the trees, and groundcover plants are intended to decorate the steep slopes. In sunny areas, new flower beds burst with colour. The project aims to improve ecological conditions and encourage the growth of all species, reducing the amount of paved areas. The architects’ main ambition is to connect the park with the surrounding city and create places for a variety of activities. The park consists of two parts: the historical part, which refers to the original garden from the 19th century and recreates its composition and vegetation, and the new part, making use of the steep slopes.

Rewitalizacja parku

The historic part features an extensive lawn with oak benches for relaxation and enjoyment. An alternative relaxation area is in front of the stone wall. The wooden gazebo in the middle has been refreshed and complemented by a fountain. In the central area there are hidden facilities for social events. The material used for walkways, steps and walls is mainly natural stone. The trees are complemented by flower beds, which add to the romantic atmosphere and give colour and fragrance to the park.

The new part of the park makes use of the slopes and offers a variety of views of the whole establishment and the city. The use of modern materials, such as concrete, steel and wood, draws on the surrounding modern housing estates and contrasts with the historic stone elements of the lower park. Visitors can use the flat areas to play ball or observe the green surroundings from the viewing terrace. The slope design also includes the construction of new paths and stairs, creating a much-needed pedestrian link.

The new park design presents a vibrant, welcoming space, accessible all year round, ideal for walking, resting and relaxing. The seamlessly integrated park with the open-air cinema, designed by Mimosa architects, is more than just a green space. It is a valuable asset for the city of Prachatice, increasing its attractiveness and building community ties.

Studio: M2AU Group
Authors: Linda Obršálová, Václav Mihola, Kateřina Miholová [M2AU]
Václav Babka, Tomáš Babka[Grupeto]
Project Location: Prachatice, Czech Republic
Year of completion: 2023
Photographer: MORGUNN

Read also: Plazas, Squares, Parks | Urban furniture | Czech Republic | Interesting facts | Detail | whiteMAD on Instagram

Subject: revitalisation of the city centre park. The place is now teeming with life

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