17 Oct 2015

How to transform (with little money) a wasteland into a park by repositioning local resources.

Author: Tiina Teräs & Frede Vik

Chercea neighbourhood

Re-activate former park

Latent potential


Total cost of all interventions: 404,61 lei / 764,58 nok

The project aims to re-activate a former park in Chercea – a neighbourhoood in short suppply of open spaces – by stirring interest in the latent resource potential found onsite.
Situated at the main pedestrian entrance into the neighbourhood, the space has the beginnings of a local center, that at once serves the surrounding area while simultaneoulsy acting as a gateway between the neighbourhood and the city beyond.

Firstly, a series of social anthropological studies of the neighourhood coupled with an extensive inventory of ground conditions, plant species and existing objects found on-site are undertaken.

Secondly, this analysis serves as the foundation for a series of 6 low-cost, site-specific and programmatically open interventions that look to reintroduce the former park as a social gathering point for the neighborhood. The interventions range from the creation of a football field (football goals + clearing of the playing field) to host a tournament, to the celebration of the space through a communal bonfire fed by waste material gathered from cleaning the kiosk structure, and to the establishment of a new gathering spot by introducing new seating (concrete benches), new trees relocated from the playing field and overall defined by a painted white line on the road, emphasizing it as a significant entrance and social center of the park.

Lastly, a future proposal for a complete redesign of the park is proposed in model form. Here, all of the local resources uncovered during the analysis, as well as the multiple interventions and their outcomes are incorporated into a long term strategy that transforms the current wasteland into a significant neighbourhood space. It’s main gesture being the repositioing soil and plants found onsite – excavating soil in one area to form a sunken arena, and piling what is exacavated in another area to form a mini mountain. Creating at once a new monumental space that captures the ambitions and pride of the area, and doing so through humble and matter-of-fact means.

Thanks to the local youth who actively engaged in improving the site with us, neighbors who provided valuable information on the history of the park, and the local residents who helped in the construction of the goal.