Opacka Park – Renovation of post – Cistercian site by

2023 Public Projects / Poland / Built in 2022 /

The design idea is to attractively develop the park area while taking into account the existing land development and preserving historical values of the site. Park is designed on post Cistercias site, where in the past where placed monastic gardens. The concept of the area is designed to emphasise the historical qualities of its surroundings as well as to provide great benefit to park users in the first years of use.

The composition of development elements is based on organic shapes with integrated greenery. The designed greenery has a very natural character and the choice of species makes it attractive all year round. The biggest design challenge was fitting into the existing site with a large difference in elevation. The starting point of the park’s design was the restoration of the ponds that were in the area in the past. Two ponds were planned. The first in the traditional form of a natural body of water, the second in the form of a dry pond – a rainwater reservoir with aquatic plants. A causeway has been restored between the ponds, with a footpath running along it.

The idea of running compositional lines was based on historic English park settings with softly laid out paths, which became one of the main design intents.  The paths have been designed to lead the pedestrian along a gentle slope without compromising the view of the Cistercian monastery as the dominant feature. In the northern part of the park, wooden viewing terraces are planned. They are located at a point aligned with the viewing axis of the Cistercian Monastery.

In between the pedestrian walkways, planting sections are planned, mainly shrubs and ornamental grasses or perennials, giving the space a comfortable and secluded character. The vegetation was divided into several groups located in separate plots. In the southern part of the park, plant compositions have been created from a mixture of different species of ornamental shrubs and perennials. These are meeting places – enclaves of tranquillity with designed small architecture in the form of deckchairs. In addition, zones with plantings that are more fleshy in their form have been proposed to create larger areas of mono-species beds using perennials, but only as an accent. The plots are separated from each other by grassy areas, which on the one hand delimit them and on the other encourage the park user to go deeper into the planting, to get lost in the thicket. By designating the planting in a sectional manner, reference was made to the monastery gardens and the manor house, which historically belonged to the monastery complex and was located within the park. This approach has been applied in a modern form, in the style of Piet Oudolf’s perennial gardens.

In the northern part of the park, where the area lies outside the view corridor, tall vegetation in the form of trees has been planned. A park section has been designed here, which is characterised by a free, grassy space that the park user can interpret in his or her own way. The species selection has been carried out in such a way that the vegetation is attractive all year round. In addition, this area is adjacent to the projected grassy beach at the restored pond. In the area around the reservoir, in addition to the small architecture in the form of benches, a custom seat has been planned, which, irregular in its form, is either a bench or a deckchair, depending on the location.

The evergreen shrubs, grasses and perennials used, give the composition a crisp and lively character all year round. By introducing natural plant layers, an effect of a welcoming space has been achieved creating a perfect resting area.

Architecture offices involved in the design: ROARK STUDIO


Design year: 2020

Year Completed: 2022


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