Apart from its environmental value, Pole Mokotowskie Park is a social and cultural phenomenon. It is a place marked by openness to diversity and by freedom, where the way things go is shaped by the citizens themselves and their activities. The park is a result of both the top-down operations of the designers and the bottom-up social actions. It is for this reason that the place is so popular among its users and approved by them. This also builds its identity and distinguishes it from other green areas in Warsaw. Therefore, rather than dramatic land interventions, a sensitively stimulated evolution and well-planned „acupuncture” are needed. This approach has been at the heart of the design scheme.
The proposed park development concept is based on several initial assumptions. A park is a process, not an occurrence. It is a constant evolution of the natural systems and change in the social activities. A park is a place for everyone: for people, but also for plants, animals, nature elements; at all times of a day, of a week or a year. A park is made up of two symbolic houses, sanctuaries: the House of Man and the House of Nature, the areas of which are interwoven like nets. The zone „in-between” these domains is an area of biocoenotic landscape, built consciously, with features that serve both man and nature. It is a zone where those two main environments overlap and interact with each other and which demonstrates the highest potential and vitality. Its attribute will be the continuum of the landscape transformation – from fully natural to the built one. There are two important objectives of the project: to improve park’s relationships with both urban and natural environment as well to increase the share of sustainable circular processes in the functioning of the park.
With regard to the nature aspect, the project interventions are orientated at strengthening the network of nature zones, extending and linking them, introducing biocoenotic landscape, supporting biodiversity. Usable greenery will be arranged based on the principles of permaculture, forest gardens; beds and flower beds will be planted with perennials, including melliferous ones; meadows and rarely mown grasslands will be extended. The water ecosystem will be expanded to include: the main water reservoir, canals and „water archive” at the National Library, rain gardens, infiltration basins and wet meadows. The main pond will be transformed into a natural and all-season one. The water system will become an element of the park’s water retention, of sustainable water management, and the waters will be treated in a natural way by appropriately selected plants.
With reference to the areas of human well-being, the concept envisages a series of interventions that strengthen existing qualities and lead to the new ones. Thematic Pavilions of the Elements, apart from the gastronomic and educational and workshop offer, will provide opportunities to experience the elements directly and to play with them. At the entrance from the side of the Roundabout of the Polish Cavalry (Pol. Rondo Jazdy Polskiej), an Air Pavilion will be constructed, with balloons indicating the state of cleanliness of the air as its distinctive feature. On the island located at the main pond, there will be a Water Pavilion, with a glass bowl roof that will collect rainwater and offer a number of water attractions.
The main walkway will become a promenade with a more organized and official character, with seats and decorative greenery. A new addition will be a circular alley called Aleja Okrężna that will surround the park and along which all main park activities and entertainments will be located. The footpath will be accompanied by a meandering trail for skaters and runners, which in winter will serve as a route for cross-country skiing. Along the alley, new attractive spots will be established to help to get into nature’s zones or stimulating activities pleasantly. The offer of winter entertainment will be enhanced by, among others, a toboggan slope located close to the Library, or the possibility of organizing slides on natural water reservoirs.
Situated at the National Library, the area of the former base of the Municipal Waste Management Company will remain a large meadow and will be hedged in with a wreath of ornamental trees. Being the largest of the park’s interiors, this Grand Salon will continue to serve as a venue for various types of visitor activities and occasionally as a place for larger mass events. Mown areas and unmown grasslands will form a „grass display” – large scale Land Art compositions changed every year. Selected in online polls, those „Images to Heavens” will be a symbolic message of Warsaw residents to the world. In line with the concept design, reading rooms and gardens of the National Library should become open to the Grand Salon, as well as outdoor reading rooms with virtual access to the collections and a terrace on the roof of the ground floor wing of the Library should be created.
Smaller interventions will be scattered all over the park. At the junction with the area of allotments along the Łazienkowska Route, an outdoor dining room, a breakfast market and a municipal educational farm will be established. Reconstructed and remodified, finnish cottages intended for social and workshop functions, surrounded by social gardens. In the Student Range, between the main campus of the University of Technology and Batory Street, sports and social attractions for students, an artificial city beach, as well as outdoor pizza and barbecue ovens are planned. The fountain area will be augmented with new water elements, pergola and permaculture garden. Close to the Aviator Monument, there will be an air playground and an outdoor air exhibition, and in the vicinity of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland – an outdoor exhibition of the Polish inventions. Behind the entrance from the crossroad of Batory Street and Niepodległości Avenue, the Land-Art Gallery (landscape art) will be an attraction. The area of Skra stadium, from the side of the Park, is a suggested location for the establishment of an urban sports square and of the natural swimming pools. New or adapted playgrounds for children and outdoor gyms will be located in the Park. For users with dogs, there will be off-leash area and a training spot. To protect against the sun or rain, local roofings will be scattered over the park area.
The accessibility of the park and allotment gardens will be improved by the introduction of „Park” stop on the planned tram line along Rostafińskich Street. Trams will stop in a paradise garden arranged around the stop. The existing footbridge over Niepodległości Avenue will be equipped with flower pots and transformed into a „hanging garden”.
The project is organised to increase the integration of the park with its neighbouring areas. Entrances to the park will be shaped by small and high greenery creating a visual invitation to the interior. At the main entrances, there will be small public spaces, seats and meeting places. It is planned to integrate and open the Park area to the Skra area, the Mermaid Stadium, the National Library as well as academic areas and buildings at Batory Street. Park edges will be modified in two ways: to integrate and invite at the entrances and on the contact points with the residential environment and other green areas, and to insulate along the arduous streets by forming earth embankments and using greenery dispersing acoustic waves.