MARELD won first prize in the open idea competition for Maarjavälja Park in Tartu, Estonia.

Our task was to design a new multifunctional green space of ca 3 hectares with sustainability and green solutions in mind for the University of Tartu, the oldest university in Estonia established already in 1632.

The jury pointed out that the strength of our proposal – KASVUS (meaning: In Growth) –is the clever step-by-step formation of the mass of greenery to balance the surrounding open space. The organic solution is flexible regarding possible changes in the contact space and provides opportunities for changing the existing movement patterns and functions and creating new ones. The park area, which offers new experiences and anticipation at every turn, has been designed in a human- and nature-friendly way. The environment is nuanced but not overdone. Natural and artificial elements blend seamlessly into a single whole.

As the park matures, the overall appearance and perceived space, microclimate, species composition, but also, footpaths, spontaneous play areas and meeting places will all change.

KASVUS is a delicate composition of an open park area that is balanced by a diverse woodland and wooded meadow. Carefully designed planting strategies will allow the park and its visitor experiences to coevolve. The park encompasses many elements that contribute to environmental and social sustainability such as meadows, orchards, masses of flowering native shrubs and bushes, beehives, forests, wetlands, and community gardening. The park will become an attraction where locals, visitors, students, and researchers meet.

Photo source: University of Tartu

More about the competition and the other porposals: