Rotterdam-based office for urban design and landscape architecture West 8 have shared with us their entry for the Valencia Central Park competition. The design, a collaboration with Sener & Gestec, reached a place on the competition shortlist.
Project Description from the Architects:
The West 8 team presents a concept for Parque Central. The design has been inspired by the Valencian tradition of solid narrative and poetry. The design is robust. The proposed materials are durable. The park reflects today’s strong local identity and is designed for current and future generations. Parque Central is a place to meet and enjoy the authentic Valencian tradition.
The basic composition of the elements and components are closely linked to the essence of Valencia, described by the Spanish poet Antonio Gala on his poem ‘Piropo a Valencia’, especially written for the West 8 team.
The Parque Central proposal has its foundation in the historical evolution of gardens and patios of Valencia. The park consists of a sequence of different gardens where water, trees and flowers are elevated to the highest expression of Valencia’s garden history. They bring an atmosphere of fertility and of the pleasure that the city exudes. A park visit will be an experience of enjoyment and emotions. It is a place for contemplation and reflection; allowing intimate moments with nature and exchange with botany. But it is also a place of activity, a space for families, children, sports, a stage for shows and culture.
These experiences are articulated against the continuum of the lush, shady central promenade. The many small gardens are laid out in a pattern and in the relief, inspired by the orange groves of Valencia. The constant presence of water emerging in various forms emphasizes each atmosphere of the park. Water features by means of lakes, reflective pools, islands, fountains, streams, waterfalls...
The integration of the park in the urban context is of critical importance. The park’s permeability towards adjacent neighbourhoods emphasizes the intimate city-park relationship. The connection to the new southern entrance-avenue to the city, linking the historical centre, the river and the Valencian orchards is an important visual axis that penetrates into the park through ‘the meadow of oranges’ (La Vega de los Naranjos).
This new boulevard reinserts to the heart of Valencia the landscape that has been slowly driven away by urban developments. The railway reserve, currently an iron barrier, will become a green aromatic carpet that culminates in a large park; it provides a new welcoming image for the city.
West 8’s initial concern to construct and maintain a park in the current economic circumstances have been key considerations in the design of the park.
Name: Central Park Valencia
Location: Valencia, Spain
Client: Consorcio Valencia Parque Central
Size: 23 ha.
Team: West 8, Sener & Gestec