Elsa Eschelsson’s park is designed to emphasize the rain and let the visitor observe and experience it. It is a multifunctional park where spaces for activity can be flooded during heavy rains.
Stormwater is present in different ways throughout the park, mostly through the collected stormwater pond with adjacent decking, but also through visualized fluctuation of the rain in the hardscaped surfaces for activity. Stormwater levels at different points are marked on hard surfaces, making us aware of the path of stormwater in our hardscaped cities. The park consists of three parts, the activity area, the stormwater pond and the green park area.
The activity area is a lowered concrete surface with smooth sloping edges to be used for biking, skateboarding, scooters, basketball etc. The surface is made of cast concrete proof to detain heavy rains. Light poles with gobo filters make projected light looking like rippled water surface.
The stormwater pond is central to the design. In order to maximize the volume, the ponds edges are vertical walls and a built deck with stairs. The north edge is the sunny side with a footpath, a generous deck with stairs and seating. The south side of the pond has a smoother greener line creating a lush view and a home for water living plants, insects and other animals. The slope on the south side is designed with different types of tall perennial ornamental grasses, moving in waves in the wind. At heavy rains the pond overflows onto the activity area which is then filled up. It can hold 790 cubic meters of stormwater and the adjacent activity area can hold another 750 cubic meters.
The stormwater overflows to the green park area at rainfalls heavier than 10-year rains. The stormwater can infiltrate directly in the green lawn and contributes to an improved groundwater balance. The surface has a smooth concave form and is designed to overflow onto nearby streets at heavier rainfalls. The lawns can also be used for picnic, sports and social interaction. Domestic trees and shrubs on the south side of the park connect the green areas with the existing forest lot in the east.
A sculpture shaped as a seashell is placed on a bench in the park, made by artist Åsa Maria Bengtsson. It has a playful sound installation which surprises the visitor with the sound of water and the roaring sea.
Landscape Architecture: Karavan
Client: Uppsala municipality
Project Location: Elsa Eschelsson’s park, Uppsala, Sweden
Design year: 2019-2020
Year Built: 2022
Photographer: Jann Lipka