Prague Park was once a historic village
Studio SKULL has given Husuv Park in Prague an eco-friendly makeover. The Hussite Revolution Park in Cakovice was once the location of a green village with a lake, which was drained and turned into a park during the First Czechoslovak Republic. The houses that lined the original lake were demolished, leaving the remains of the roof gables until the recent reconstruction of the park in 2019 to 2020.
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Landscaping studio Land05 designed the new park renovation, led by Martina Forejtova. The SKULL studio helped design the enclosure wall at the southern edge of the park. The wall, while looking like a simple feature, is a dynamic three-dimensional brick artwork with overlapping shapes and angles that point to a decorative pool. It’s called the superpower wall. The wall carries the theme of transformation through the new elements of the park.
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The outlines of the gable roof were still visible in the original park boundary walls. It inspired the diagonal line pattern present in the new decorative wall.
“It is a memory of what is no longer there, which nevertheless leaves its imprint on place and time,” said the creator of the Superpower Wall, sculptor Matej Hajek of studio SKULL.
The wall may look simple and classic in its materials of construction, but the Superpower Wall is finished with a nano-tech coating. It also has photocatalytic properties to purify the air in the park thanks to light. This activates its components while avoiding waste or the use of chemicals. The wall surface is finished with titanium dioxide. With UV radiation, it can remove several kilograms of harmful substances per year per square meter of wall surface.
This earth cleaning technology developed by Czech scientists from the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry.
“The invisible plays a dual role here,” Hajek explained. “On the one hand, there is the nano-technology coating, which depends on sunlight to work. And on the other, memory, fragments of memories that exist only in our imagination. The essential is not what we see, but precisely what escapes our vision.
The water feature under the wall was designed by the XTOPIX studio. The dark surface is reminiscent in color of the old lake bed. The rest of the park retains green spaces and walkways for pedestrians. It also includes wildflower plantings and a grid of planted trees that are protected by decorative wooden structures.
Photograph by Bet Orten