The reconstruction of Pola Mokotowskie will begin any day soon. New recreational places and more greenery are to appear there, and the main pond will be deconstructed – announces the Green Management Board. However, it does not boast that the competition project was cut by 80 percent. According to the accounts of the winning architectural studio, there will be no pavilions symbolizing the elements that were the core of the concept, and instead of five toilets, two will be built in one of the largest parks in Warsaw.
The Capital City of Greenery at the beginning of September made a decision tender for the first stage of modernization of the Pole Mokotowskie park. The works will be performed by Inmel in cooperation with the Palmett studio. They are to start at the turn of September and October, and their completion is planned for the fourth quarter of 2022. During the works, the park area will be partially closed for use.
The tender included elements covered by EU funding, such as the creation of a new, natural water system in the park, the development of the site of the former Municipal Purification Company base, and the creation of green recreation areas and entrance zones. A new outdoor gym, public toilets and elements of small architecture are also to appear in the park.
– The investment will cost PLN 39.6 million. Additionally, as part of a separate investment, it will be carried out renovation of Finnish houses, including the house of Ryszard Kapuścińskiwhich will ultimately become a place of cultural and social activity, referring to non-fiction, explained Anna Stopińska, spokeswoman for ZZ. – The main pond will be naturalized – concrete will be removed from the bottom, and natural vegetation zones will appear on the shores as a shelter for animals. There will also be several new water troughs covered with plants – she added.
Officials also planned to create a natural biocoenotic garden in the central part of the park. It will be built on the site of the former MPO base that has been reclaimed and incorporated into the park. An educational footbridge telling about the natural habitats located here is also to be led through the garden. The project includes numerous plantings of greenery. According to the Greenery Board, over six thousand shrubs, 17 thousand perennials and almost 1.5 hectares of meadows will appear in the park, as well as thousands of vines, bulbs, rushes and water plants. The stand of 10,000 trees is to be increased by 55 young trees.
The possible negative impact of the construction works on nature is to be minimized. – During the implementation of the investment, environmental supervision will be carried out. The existing vegetation will be secured by creating fenced green protection zones, in which road and pedestrian traffic will be prohibited. For amphibians currently living in the pond to be dismantled, a temporary substitute reservoir will be created, which will provide them with shelter and enable them to reproduce – noted Aleksandra Majda-Butkiewicz, director of the Zieleni Management Board, quoted in the announcement.
ZZ also reminded that the changes in the park reflect the needs of the residents, because in 2015 and 2016 consultations were held and based on them, a concept for the development of the park was created, taking into account, among others, the issues of greenery, communication and the functions of this area, as well as the rules regarding the presence of dogs.
There was 20 percent left of the winning project. What will not be built in Pole Mokotowskie?
So many positives. But there is also a tablespoon of tar. In 2018, officials announced competition for a modernization project of Pole Mokotowskie, which was won by the WXCA studio. So we asked the architects how many of the ideas presented at that time were included in the final modernization plan for the Pole Mokotowskie park.
As it turned out – not much. – WXCA presented a comprehensive strategy for the revitalization of Pola Mokotowskie, thanks to which the park could be integrated with the surrounding urban fabric. The scope of the commissioned project, on which the studio worked, was limited in relation to the competition entry to 66.5 hectares (the scope of the competition entries is 122.7 hectares). Overall, approximately 20 percent of the final revitalization project will be completed. The investor limited the implementation and it is a pity, because the effect will probably not be visible – Ilona Knapik from WXCA told us.
She explained that the area scope of the project was so delineated that it was not possible to maintain the continuity of the proposed solutions. She also pointed out specific ideas that will not be implemented in the end. They are: – four pavilions symbolizing the four elements – water, air, fire and earth; – modernization and extension of the Main Park Alley; – circular avenue – a landscape avenue that runs around all the attractions and areas of the park’s activity; – modernization of the existing fountain and comprehensive revitalization of the entire fountain zone; – community garden; – boule squares; – badminton courts; – dog area in the Jeff’s restaurant area.
Other elements of the project were severely limited: According to the WXCA representative: – instead of five toilets, there will be two; – instead of 14 picnic tables, there will be two; – instead of a complete thematic rearrangement of three playgrounds, including a water playground, a few small toys will be created on existing playgrounds; – instead of 447 new lighthouses, 47 will be built; – instead of 219 litter bins, 18 will be created; – instead of 51 information boards, 17 will be built (only necessary boards in special zones); – instead of 161 bicycle stands, 15 will be built (only in the entrance areas); – and instead of 16 attractions designed in the sensory garden, there will be eight of them.
According to the studio’s report, there is no budget for standardizing the surface and changing it to a more ecosystem-friendly one – only 1,339 square meters of the designed 26,929 square meters of mineral surface will be created.
This is what the winning project of the WXCA studio looked like:
There was no money
– The modernization project of the Pole Mokotowskie Park has been limited in relation to the original WXCA concept due to lack of money. We have finances for the basic scope of the investment, which will include, among others, the naturalization of the main pond, the creation of a new water system in the park or the development of the area of the former MPO base. The rest of the project, on the other hand, is within the range of options we want to do if there is money. The advantage of this solution is that after selecting the contractor, we can return to these options at any time without announcing another tender – says Aleksandra Majda-Butkiewicz, Director of the Management Board of Zieleni, when asked about the reasons for such a strong reduction in investment.
But even under these options, there is no chance of implementing the entire project. For example, out of four pavilions, with favorable winds, one will be created – the Water Pavilion. The change of land development around Finnish houses is also only an option.
Main photo source: WXCA