The reactivation of the public spaces of the former Jirásek military barracks represents a major extension of the public space of the town southwest of the historical center of Vysoké Mýto. The total area of the proposed area is more than 3.5 hectares.
The focal point of the proposal is the active zone in front of the existing historical building of the Dragoun barracks. The proposal divides the large area by means of a series of diagonal paths, based on natural movement through the area, into units defining areas for sport, leisure and recreation. These links create permeability of the area in a north-south direction. The so-called promenade forms the main east-west pedestrian route. The linear area connecting all the main public spaces in the area is spatially framed by an avenue of trees. This dynamic space for pedestrians, runners, cyclists creates multi-layered views through the whole area.
The overall cultivation and calming down of the traffic regime is also part of the area’s proposal. The permeability of the paved traffic areas allows water to be retained and reused on the site. Rainwater is collected and filtered in a storage and retention basin and used to irrigate vegetation areas.
The natural attraction point of the site is the building of the Kiosk, located along the main pedestrian promenade. The Kiosk serves as a backdrop for the park with refreshments, toilets and storage. Its stepped roof forms an elevated plateau, which allows the entire sports complex and park to be seen from a different perspective.
The active zone is stratified by small height levels of individual areas and programmes. This zone is dominated by a sunken multi-purpose playground with seating levels around its perimeter. This configuration allows for a variety of daily uses (sports, cultural events, summer cinema, etc.). At the same time, it naturally separates the playing area from the adjacent pedestrian routes. In other parts of the active zone, individual programme elements for additional leisure activities are concentrated – a zone with wooden logs for children and young people, a petanque area with a wooden stage, picnic activities on the modelled grass terraces or seating in the shade of the trees in the northern part of the area.
The proposal also includes complete landscaping of the green space to unify the area, create new vital areas and offer year-round park attractions. The vegetation is complemented by the planting of 87 new trees.
The overall composition of the mix of activities and recreational areas creates a living and changing public space, able to absorb and adapt to the changing demands of its users.
The aim of the proposal is to improve the quality of the parter by increasing the usability and utility of the area. This is also reflected in the concept of new vegetation, which is based on the layout of communication routes and residential zones. Existing tree species that can be retained have been identified. These will become the basis for future vegetation.
The newly defined pedestrian routes are accompanied by single-species lines of high-quality mature trees with understorey canopies. Native, proven and undemanding species of Acer campestre, Prunus avium ‘Plena’ and Acer platanoides have been recommended for replanting these core trees in the area. These species were also chosen because they are not significant allergens.
The avenues are complemented by a motif of natural free planting of meander trees in a modelled lawn that resembles spontaneous vegetation units. This strong organic accent in an otherwise linear design will contribute to the livability of the site and create sheltered quiet micro-spaces for short-term recreation on the lawn. Complementary species such as Tilia cordata are proposed to complement the avenue and an attractive early flowering small-leaved tree – Amelanchier arborea ‘Robin Hill’. Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’ is proposed for solitary use and for joint planting with flowering Bird Cherry (Prunus avium). With a striking colour effect of small leaves in autumn.
The design encourages pedestrian movement, seeks to eliminate the negative impacts of vehicular traffic and provides necessary and collision-free service to the area. Pedestrian routes ensure the permeability of the whole area and connect the northern part of the city with the southern part and the eastern part with the western part.
The main pedestrian entrances to the area are proposed in the southern part from Prokopa Velikého Street, in the part of Lidická and Odbojárská Street. In the north, a pedestrian connection between Školská Street and Prokopa Velikého Street is proposed. All proposed pedestrian entrances to the site are designed as barrier-free.
Traffic in all zones is limited to supply and necessary servicing of the buildings. Necessary service and parking areas for passenger transport are located in the peripheral parts of the complex. In the southern part there is a parking lot with an indirect entrance from Prokopa Velikého Street. In the northern part there is an extension of the existing parking lot at the entrance to the retirement home. Local parking spaces are purposefully distributed throughout the area.
The playground is designed as the central active area of the new leisure park. Its space is defined by a depression in the ground, which is flanked by steps leading to a seating area along the southern edge of the playground. The main entrance staircase is located by the kiosk and wheelchair access is linked by a ramp to the promenade. The playing surface offers graphic signage for basketball, volleyball, soccer and playgrounds.
The kiosk along with the seating area form the social amenities of the new park. The main refreshment window is located on the busiest pedestrian link – the promenade. On the other side are the entrances to the sanitary and service facilities. The covered area on a triangular plan gently slopes down towards the center of the park and offers seating with a wide view of the park and the playground.
A subtle open steel and timber pergola is proposed in the eastern part of the site to complement the existing park at the retirement home. The circular gazebo is intended to provide shade and seating for visitors to the children’s play area.
The pin play area is designed as a triangular play area with a soft shock-absorbing surface suitable for children and young people. The overall playing surface is divided by wooden vertical elements, which are connected in some parts by a series of soft and flexible elements (climbing ropes) and rigid elements (steel bars, horizontally rotating logs).
A triangular area with a soft sandy surface. Children can play on it, play sports in the sand or relax barefoot. The playground is lined with wooden beams. This edge defines the playing area, preventing balls from bouncing out of the playground and spreading the sand into the surroundings. This area is connected to a wooden platform with trees and seating.
All furniture elements are selected and designed with simplicity of form (matching the overall aesthetic expression of the site) and durability in mind. The materials and functional details of each product are consistent with the overall character of the proposed site.
Landscape architecture and general planning: Martin Lukáč, Ing. arch. Barbora Srpková
Plant concept and planning: doc. Ing. Lukáš Štefl Ph.D
Photography: Alexandra Timpau – Alex Shoots Buildings
Traffic planning: Ing. Aleš Hlavatý
Structural planning: Ing. Jiří Kopecký
Water management: Ing. Miloslav Dostál, Matěj Vašek, Ing. Petr Šafek
Irrigation: Jiří Kubeš
HVAC: Ing. Vladimír Teplý, Jan Foist
Lighting and electric planning: Ing. Vlastimil Šafář, Pavel Farník
Engineering: Ing. Natálie Truhlářová
Budget: Miroslava Šmejdířová
Fire safety: Ing. Jaroslav Kutáč
Client: City of Vysoké Mýto
Project Location: Vysoké Mýto, Czech republic
Land area: 47.700 m2
Proposal: 2017 (competition), 2018-2020 (proposal)
Investment costs: 62 mil. CZK
The street view may show the condition before the intervention