Location: Praha 9 - Prosek
Client: City District Prague 9
Designers: Otakar Kuča (designer of the initial park plan from the year 1968) and a05 (Martina Forejtova, Pavlina Malikova, Ales Steiner)
Construction Companyr: Navatyp Group a.s., Gabriel s.r.o.
Project Year: 2007
Construction Year: 2008 - 2009
Costs: approx. 44 mil. CZK
Photo Tomáš Balej (1, 3-9 a homepage)
Photo J. M. Delafontaine (2 a 10)
The park’s history started in 1968, when, during the time of brief liberalization of totalitarian urban planning, an architectural and landscape competition for a Prague 9 district park with a total area of 23 hectares was announced. However, on the basis of Otakar Kuča’s winning design, only the central part of the park with an area of 10 hectares was realized according to the author's project in 1983. After almost 25 years of existence, this under-realized and neglected park was approaching decay. The park became an unused and dangerous place.
The main objective of the Park Přátelství revitalization is a confirmation of the uniqueness and timelessness of the architectural design, which is dominated by the broken curves of the system of water ponds and cascades. In the steppe climate of the Prosek housing estate, the omnipresent sound of water arises from 11 overflows, which are part of the water system, the center of the whole park.
The redesign is based on the original quality concept of the park. We maintained the principle of clearly-defined shapes of the stream in the original scale, complemented the network of paths and paved areas with time-proven routes and connecting paths and we unified the widths of the paths in the logical hierarchy of paths based on the frequency of their use. We added the leisure areas and functional units – an "amphitheater", a rose garden with a petanque ground, a children’s playground, wooden piers on the shores of the water system, rest areas in the south part of leisure meadow and we completely revised the park furniture concerning number and location. We unified the park and made it easy to embrace by the complete removal of continuous formation of bushes covering 9,000 square meters.
The original, visually heterogeneous concrete trough was replaced with a principle of visual precast L-shaped concrete prefabricated elements used uniformly for all walls across the whole stream, the bottom of which was created as a cast concrete slab. The new bridges were made of reinforced concrete with the preservation of the sidewalls made of granite blocks and the original crossings of the water in newly-designed blocks of concrete. The annulated tank of the roundel, made of granite cubes with conical walls, was newly paved. The base of waterproofing assembly is Alkorplan foil. Water recirculation is provided by 2 powerful pumps located in the original engine room; new PE piping distributes the water from the engine room to the upper tank with an adjustable well and to the tank of the roundel, also equipped with 10 adjustable custom-made nozzles. The individual tanks are separated by overflows with adjustable regulators for draining of the system before winter. The recirculation does not have an active filter system. The water system, with a total area of 4,600 square meters, is supplied from the water main and the newly-drilled well.
The new surface of the roads, made of coated bitumen complemented with granite block curbs, is fully linked to the material assembly used and the needs of the park visitors. All original paved surfaces made of granite cubes have been newly paved, complemented or adapted to existing requirements. We also restored the rose garden area with a new mortar surface and a new layout. The new architectural elements are visual concrete treads for sitting on them, forming the "amphitheater" used for frequent cultural events and a wooden tourist pier on the shores of the stream to enable access to ponds and other attractions.
The new park furniture includes high-quality benches with two types of backrests, massive wooden benches made of oak balks, picnic tables, a drinking fountain in the area of the children’s playground, trash bins and special information panels with rules for visitors and the park and children’s playground service rules. The original pictographs complement the visitor information throughout the park. The children’s playground, divided into 2 parts, offers playing opportunities for children from preschool age to the 15 + age group.
Quality, transparent and safe lawns take the place of the removed bushes. Full-grown trees – 95 in total – were planted in selected parts of the park. The beds of the newly-styled rose garden were planted with time-tested rose cultivars and shaped hornbeam walls; grassy areas on the islands are enlivened by spring-flowering bulbous plants - daffodils.
Architectural competition: 1968
Original design: 1974-76
Author of the design: M.A. Otakar Kuča
Park opening: 1983
Reconstruction of the part of park - metro construction: 2006
Total revitalization project: 2007
Author of the revitalization design: M.A. Otakar Kuča, M.S. Pavlína Malíková, M.S. Aleš Steiner, M.S. Martina Forejtová (Vlnasová)
Realization of the park’s revitalization: 2008-09
Total area of the park: 8.5 hectares
Water area: 0.46 hectares/4,600 square meters
Stream length: 450 m
Number of tanks in the water system: 11
Total number of trees: 615 pcs
Grassland area: 5.5 hectares