The new island park connects older parts of town with densified residential areas and the new Swatch headquarters. It brings back the connection to the water. A quiet park – space for sports and leisure activities – a place of refuge for nature – a place by the water – engineering structures to provide protection against flooding: functional, sociological, town-planning and ecological demands became aspects that contributed to the design; the design became relevant from an ecological and technical perspective. The park world oscillates as a connecting factor between contrasts.
The manner in which the terrain has been shaped has integrated flood protection in a subtle way: the entire island acts as an embankment, but it does not look like this. The main route winds its way along the crest of this invisible dam, safe from flooding. Thanks to the variable inclination of the bank the island’s shape changes depending on the height of the water; it grows or shrinks. Temporary flooding creates a dynamic picture and valuable habitats. The western section of the park is an open sunbathing lawn with views of the water and the urban skyline. The central section of the park is a thick forest garden. Native species such as small-leaved lime and English oak have been planted with local specialties such as alder.
The third section of the park lies protected behind the dam that runs in a southward direction here. This section is home to fields and facilities for sports, games and family time.
Authors: Fontana Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH Landschaftsarchitektur: Fontana, Basel Pavillons und Brücken: MLZD Architekten, Biel
Photo Credit: Swiss Pedestrian Association