The Rohan and Libeň Island, together with the Maniny Park, have all the potential to be approached in a new way. Our proposed ‘restore, rewild, reconnect’ strategy is a nature-based approach that aims to create a resilient floodplain landscape that also delivers high ecological benefits and a wealth of recreational opportunities and facilities. This differs from the current permitted design which is based on infrastructure and engineering considerations. Our park design and layout is an example of how to transform the riverfront from the downside towards the city’s greatest asset.
The park, the city and the river should be considered as one. Three of these key urban strategies have more of a connective role as they create a continuation of flood control measures, ecological corridors and urban spaces. The remaining three urban strategies focus more on transforming the park into a destination with an extensive permeable network, spaces for sport and play, and beautiful places that frame views of the historic city centre while referencing the rich history of Karlín.
In this proposal, we are trying to take an integral approach where all these different structures are combined into one proposal. By rethinking the course of the channel, without negatively impacting the hydrological performance of the channel, the channel is transformed into a natural waterway that becomes the centre and main feature of the park, rather than an edge between the park and the dam.
Rohan and Libeň Island, including the design of the park, are conceived as a result of its topographical and hydrological basis. The main key point was to bring into the park a significant variation of recreational and natural spaces that gradually flow into each other. Maniny Park thus becomes a natural park where different types of recreation find a place and different types of planting occur, from wooded hills to open meadow riverbanks and wetlands.
Enabled design works well at the “restore” level. The basic intention was to create an intervention that would increase resilience to flooding and hydrological fluctuations. Although the new park between the Vltava River and the new side channel brings a lot of opportunities to increase ecological and recreational qualities (rewild and reconnect). This infrastructural approach forms the basis of our design for Maniny Park, but two subtle design moves transform the whole project from a single-minded intervention to an integrated project that builds on three main qualities: restore, rewild and reconnect. The Rohan and Libeň islands create a new narrative of the river in the city.
Principle 1: meandering channel
Our first design shift emphasises the importance of the canal and seeks to reposition it as a central feature of the park. By subtly shifting the course of the canal from an exponential curve towards a meandering shape and changing its width, it becomes a meandering structure that has a strong natural appearance and feel. Without negatively impacting hydrological performance, this creates interesting spaces for recreational purposes on both sides of the meander and opportunities for more diverse banks along the water. The water feature becomes the central backbone of the park and, by widening its flow in the center, also becomes more visible and experiential.
Principle 2: diverse park topography
The second shift focuses on creating a more diverse park ridge that allows for height differentiation. Because the topography of the park largely determines its use, it creates opportunities for differentiation of vegetation types (due to the varying distance from the water table) and ecological zones, as well as for exciting experiences while wandering through the park. By lowering the central part of the park and reusing the loosened soil to create a height accent along it, a dramatic scene is created that transforms from an interesting wetland to an urban vista towards the city at the top of the hill.
Capital city of Prague
Prague, Czech Republic
560 000 m²
Perspektiv & DELVA