Rakova Jelša town park, Ljubljana, SI

Function: Other
Country: Slovenia
Category: Innovative Public Spaces
Firm: Medprostor d.o.o.
Architects: Klara Bohinc, Andraž Keršič, Martin Kruh, Aljoša Lipolt, Samo Mlakar, Dino Mujić, Tamara Németh, Rok Žnidaršič
Completion of design: 2015
Year completed: 2016
Nominated by: Uroš Rustja
Rakova Jelša town park connects Ljubljana and the Barje regional park which is the vast marshland south of the city. Along the main axis of the town park, picnic areas and spaces for diverse leisure activities had been established, together with opportunities for self-sufficient farming and a multipurpose information pavilion which serves a variety of functions: from farmers’ market to open air cinema. The once neglected space, left to uncontrolled gardening and used as a junkyard, has been revived as a new public space that connects the city with its natural surroundings and reinterprets public space as a vivid interweave of the built and natural. (Uroš Rustja)
Project Description

The primary objective of Rakova Jelša town park was to host leisure activities and picnic spots, while the second phase would focus on creating space for self-sufficient farming and cultivation. The possibility of legal and arranged cultivation on the outskirts of the city centre meant a new interpretation of the traditional use of marshlands (barje). The new gardening areas required infrastructure, which had been sourced from existing elements in the area (the cast plates of demolished sheds, etc.). Instead of dispersed sheds, new common shelters were introduced to collect rainwater and serve as shades. Urban elements, wooden and reused, assembled prefabricated benches, bike stands and fences, were used in phase one and multiplied in phase two. A new walking path was established that follows the Ljubljanica from Špica past the highway overpass to the brink of Rakova Jelša town park. Didactical interventions and informative panels enrich the learning path by the river. Under the highway overpass, a boathouse with a bar inhabits the formerly unused space. A pulley crosses the Ljubljanica river at the endpoint of the park, completed in phase one, that takes visitors from Ljubljana to Plečniks’ Church of St. Michael in the Marsh in Črna Vas. North of the highway, by the new park and bicycle route and the new Fire Intervention Station at Barjanska Street, a nature-involving playground mimicking the moor landscape was built. A corridor next to Barjanska Street, now full of billboards is to be cleaned of all the clutter; info points about the Ljubljansko marshlands natural reserve will be placed into the newly opened space that will also serve as the only public space and playground for the residents of Rakova Jelša. The information pavilion hosts a variety of functions, from the marshlands’ farmer’s market to open air cinema…

studio's website