The winner was chosen by an expert jury on behalf of a group of professional landscape architecture associations. Credit:

Moravské Náměstí Named ‘Park of the Year’ For 2023

Brno’s recently renovated Moravské Náměstí has been awarded the title of Park of the Year 2023. The winner was chosen by an expert jury on behalf of a group of professional landscape architecture associations, and announced on 19 October in Humpolec. This year, there were a record 30 works submitted to the competition, now in its 17th year.

The expert jury was impressed by the complex architectural approach, featuring a colourful combination of flowers, trees both original and newly planted, and the dominant water area. During a personal visit to the park, the jury commended, among other things, the generous bench reminiscent of an arena, with a stage inside in the form of a fountain, the centrepiece of the unique city-centre pedestrian space. 

“The area of the park square was lively and full of people from different social groups and age categories. The visitors liked to sit by the water or with a cup of coffee, organise a picnic on the lawn, play games or take a walk,” said Slovak landscape architect Attila Tóth, one of the members of the jury.

The judges also appreciated the protection of the roots of the original trees before construction works, and the prevention of soil compaction, which will contribute to the full development of the park’s trees, shrubs and grass.

“The winning work showed that if the general designer puts together a top team including landscape architects and gardeners, and the building contractors and the investor work closely together, it is possible to realise a high-quality public space that can stand up to European comparisons,” said Ondřej Feit, director of the Society for Garden and Landscape Design, which co-organised the award. However, he added that ongoing care of the park would be essential in the coming years. 

“I consider it a huge success that we won in the strong competition of almost three dozen very high-quality projects, and I believe that the resulting form of the reconstruction deserves this award,” said Vojtěch Mencl (ODS), mayor of the Brno-střed district. “I am also happy that the park became a sought-after place for young and old visitors to spend their free time immediately after its completion.”

“This realisation of ours is courageous in its own way, and shows that investing in public competitions pays off, as a work of art like this would never have been created without a competition,” added Janica Šipulová from the park’s landscape design team, Consequence forma architects. 

“We took responsibility for the design and author’s supervision of each part of the project, and we greatly appreciate the award,” said her colleague Martin Sládek. “At the same time, it is also a big commitment for the subsequent care of the park, because in two years the Park of the Year will be announced in Brno, including a professional walk through the park to monitor exactly how the park is cared for. We are cooperating with the city district of Brno-střed on minor adjustments and improvements, including the involvement of landscape architect Klára Zahradníčková and other experts.” 

The original concrete fountain, asphalt paths and old grass areas were completely replaced during the redesign by Consequence forma architects. The central part of the park, surrounded by wooden benches, is the fountain, a body of water with a variable character. When the surface is calm, it forms a water mirror, or the water can be put in motion using fog and classic jets. When the water level is lowered, the area can also be used to stage theatre or musical performances. In winter, an ice rink will be created in the space, under the shadow of the now-traditional Advent observation wheel.

The important thoroughfare between Joštová and Lidická was preserved and paved, and a new circular footpath was created around the edge of the park, intended especially for parents with children and strollers to walk. Another integral part of the park  are the dozens of children’s play pieces by Richard Loskot, as well as a sandpit. Parents will also appreciate the proximity of the cafe.

Before starting the work, the root areas of most trees were sensitively improved for better water and air supply. A distinctive feature of the park is the border, which is formed of a community of trees, shrubs and perennials, a continuous shady meadow that is not cut back as often. In addition, 80 new trees have now been planted in the park, including maples, oaks, and sycamores, and 68 shrubs, as well as 36,000 perennial seedlings. In the spring, the park will come to life with daffodils, tulips, and lilies, 67,000 of which have been planted. 

The total investment in the park was CZK 132.5 million, of which the City of Brno contributed CZK 95.5 million and the Brno-střed district contributed CZK 37 million. In addition, the city district bore the costs of running the architectural competition, project documentation, and treating the root systems of the trees before the reconstruction began. The preparatory and project work cost approximately CZK 10 million in total.

Moravské Náměstí Named ‘Park of the Year’ For 2023
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