2022 - 2023
Soutok park, Prague
2022 - 2023
Soutok park, Prague
In collaboration with our Czech partners, Gogolak Grasse, Bureau B+B worked on the large-scale transformation of the valley area surrounding the confluence of the Berounka and Vltava rivers, south of Prague. In the masterplan for the Soutok landscape park, the water retention challenge serves as the foundation for a vast area transformation, converting a monotonous, intensive agricultural valley landscape into an inviting landscape park for the residents of surrounding villages and cities. Moreover, this park contributes to a new balanced landscape system, where local hydrological and geomorphological characteristics dictate land use.
City of Prague
The landscape park is built upon a sturdy and carefully designed landscape framework. It presents a dual purpose – on one hand, it offers ample opportunities for an extensive recreational network, and on the other hand, it creates a finely interconnected system of natural habitats. This framework is carefully designed to suit the specific hydrological and geomorphological conditions, resulting in a diverse landscape with new river arms, wetlands, flood forests, grasslands, and extensive farmlands. At the same time, this natural framework provides a gentle framing for the more intensive forms of land use that currently dominate the area.
The landscape framework assigns a central role to the Berounka River in Park Soutok. By significantly widening the river’s catchment area and allowing space for its dynamic flow, this gravel river with its broad natural banks becomes the lifeblood of the park. Additionally, a series of interventions are carried out to prevent flooding, increasing the floodable surface at designated locations within the framework. This climate-adaptive strategy restores the natural river system, responds to local floodplain conditions, and contributes to a robust ecological network. By enhancing the water storage capacity in Park Soutok, downstream towns and villages are protected from flood hazards.
Park Soutok transforms from an inaccessible agricultural river valley to the vibrant heart of the region, thanks to the construction of a new network of paths and roads that connect surrounding villages and towns. The strategic positioning and design of various recreational routes guide visitors through secluded wetlands and agricultural fields. On the other hand, functional connections follow the linear structure of the Berounka riverbanks, reinforcing the relationships between villages and towns bordering the river. Public facilities placed at strategic locations activate specific parts of the park and serve as gateways between the urban area and the natural landscape park. Nestled in the landscape are various ‘pods,’ which, in addition to their specific recreational functions, stand out as remarkable elements within the landscape park.
Park Soutok not only offers a beautiful landscape for people but also for animals. Thanks to the introduction of new microrelief and periodic flooding of the Berounka River, a wide variety of habitats emerge. Through smart management and deliberate succession, Park Soutok aims to create a broad diversity of valuable biotopes in a natural and extensive manner. The landscape framework of the park provides a finely woven ecological structure in the area that aligns with the morphological conditions of the location. In the future, Soutok Park will play a vital role as an ecological corridor, linking existing regional green structures. This crucial function ensures the park’s significance in supporting biodiversity and facilitating the movement of wildlife across the region.