CITY PARK – NATIONAL PUBLIC COMPETITION
Belém – PA, BR, 2020
The challenge: The City Park offers to the city of Belém a unique opportunity to transform a currently underutilized airport into a social and sustainable meeting space. The population understands that the park must be a large public facility, structured in 3 axes: Culture and Creative Economy; Leisure and Sport; and Landscape and Environmental.
In addition to the permanent space, the park area is also responsible for facilitating the movement of people. The area that acted as a segregating and fragmenting agent becomes permeable and connected, because of the change from restricted use to public use, and also because the extension of Avenida Pedro Miranda. In a contemporary and sustainable view, City Park is part of the transport system that encourages different modes, mainly the active ones, such as bicycles and walks.
The city occupies the airport: Dismantling the old airport function of the area and promoting the feeling of appropriation by the population of this open territory and little integrated with the surroundings is the first design act of this proposal. However, we believe that the preservation of memory is essential. Therefore, we kept the airport runway in place and assumed it as a structuring element of our intervention. Around this narrow and extensive paved area of the airstrip is where the park’s activities are organized. The approximately 1.1 km long runway, which used to be used for the takeoff and landing of airplanes, is now the meeting point, the agora of the place: a place that gives scale to the area, an almost infinite straight line at the height of the visitors’ eyes, an unknown world with infinite possibilities of use.
Water management and topography: Water management is a challenging aspect for the design of the park, due to the intense rainfall characteristic of the Belém region and the high altitude of the area in relation to the rest of the city, which makes it responsible for the retention of rainwater. On the one hand, this channel has the function of temporarily collecting and storing rainwater, for feeding the permanent lakes, to recharge the water table or, if it reaches its capacity, to transfer the water to the Pirajá stream. On the other hand, the drainage system has a permanent watercourse, built on terraces and interrelated to the permanent lakes at both ends of the airstrip, transforming it into a pier over the water. The terraces at different levels, in addition to helping to oxygenate the waters, include a system of filtering gardens (wetlands); the water there is always in motion, circulating from the intermediate lake at the central point to the two lakes at the ends of the track. These permanent waters run over impermeable ground.
Finally, the drainage system receives the gray waters (sinks and showers) from the buildings that are phyto-purified and cleaned by the filter garden system to be used in the toilet flushing of the park buildings. This garden cleaning works at a level below the surface and they are designed to be incorporated in some of the green areas near the buildings. Associating the topography and geometry of the watercourse with the native vegetation, we try to recreate the environment of water variation in the Amazon streams, in which the landscape changes over time, both due to the meteorological variation throughout the day, and with the seasons. Users can experience this environment through wooden walkways on two levels that allow them to appreciate the complex landscape from different perspectives. The excavated land is managed within the park itself, generating a new topography in the area closest to Júlio César Avenue.
Research Support and Development Foundation– FADESP. Secretariat of Culture – SECULT, Belém City Hall.
Anna Julia Passold, forest engineer
Gisele Sessegolo, biologist
Guilherme Castagna, civil engineer specialized in sustainable urban drainage
André Bihuna D’Oliveira, Gabriela Ingrid de Lima, Leandro Vilas Boas, Leticia Domingos Vellozo, Maria Fernanda Arias Godoy, Mariana Steiner Gusmão, Robert de Paauw e Charles Jaster de Oliveira