Parque de LevanteBack to Projects list
- 100M - 1Bn
Murcia, Spain, was founded by the Moors in 825 AD on the banks of the Rio Segura. The municipal government commissioned the master plan for Parque de Levante, an underdeveloped 100-acre parcel, which for generations had been the site of various informal uses, including market fairs and small-scale orcharding and gardening. Recognizing that historic activity, the goals of the master plan are found in the Latin roots of the word horticulture: hortus (garden) + cultura (culture). These goals include the preservation and restoration of the orchards and the riparian landscape around the river, which traverses the site and formerly sustained the orchards. In addition, the park is conceived of as a canvas for what is variously known as site-specific art, Land Art, or Environmental Art. While each of these terms refers to a spectrum of artistic practices, they all actively engage the landscape. On the park’s urban edge to the west, a ‘campus’ of three museum structures will be devoted to the same topic, creating an intense and profound relationship between Murcia’s city dwellers and nature.
Two primary circulation paths connect the park with the city, while providing for unique interactions with art and nature. A boardwalk (Malecón) parallels the restored banks of the river, while the shaded Paseo meanders through restored orchards and other varied natural habitats. Other paths allow for bicycles and jogging and two proposed foot bridges connect the northern and southern portions of the park.
The lack of a long-term plan for the site resulted in an unfortunate decision to extend a broad, high-use avenue through the site several years ago, effectively creating two separate parcels with unsuitable pedestrian crossings at the edges of the park. The master plan proposes a sloping land-bridge, which gradually rises from the park level and extends the Paseo over the avenue, just as the Malecón passes under it, re-establishing the park as a single continuous public space.