Behind the Image

Pétrusse Park, Luxembourg

Lionel Eid, George Garofalakis, Rosie Garvey and Alice Strang

Valuing nature: Pétrusse Park combines steep slopes, rock formations, ruins and varied open spaces to form a dramatic, harmonious landscape in the heart of the bustling city of Luxembourg. Initiated as an ecological restoration project, the park is now a vast natural landscape to be enjoyed by city residents and visitors alike.

An array of features: existing pathways, natural landscape features and infrastructure elements have been integrated, adding character to the park, creating a contrast between old and new, and embedding the project in its context

Leisure: a key part of the project was to revamp play areas and sports facilities such as outdoor fitness equipment, a skate park and a mini-golf course near the park entrance. These elements animate spaces around the park and encourage people to come to it and be active in the city.

Active routes (left): a series of interconnected routes provide comfortable and accessible walking and cycle ways throughout the park. Six new bridges were built as part of the project, four of which are open to pedestrians only, providing frequent connections over the River Petrusse.

Rest and recreation (right): level changes and terracing create a range of open spaces to sit and relax – a peaceful contrast to the adajcent urban areas. Mature trees have been kept to enhance ecology and provide shading to visitors in the summer months.

Ecology (left): the concrete riverbed was demolished and the waterway channel widened in some places to enable the river to be more resistant to extreme stresses when the water level rises. A fish ladder was also constructed. Here allotments, beehives and a public garden make use of the natural slope of the riverbed, adding to the variety of spaces on offer.

Reflection (right): what could otherwise have been left as an under-utilised space or a purely functional design response to flood risk has instead been celebrated as an opportunity to bring social life, leisure activity and ecological diversity to the city.

URBAN DESIGN 156 Autumn 2020 Publication Urban Design Group

As featured in URBAN DESIGN 156 Autumn 2020

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In the lower part of Luxembourg city lies Pétrusse Park. The project aims to revitalise the valley’s deteriorated ecosystems and redevelop the wider riverbed area for the enjoyment of the citizens and visitors.

In each issue of Behind the Image, one of our contributors visits a contemporary public space from around the world.

The photography tries to reveal an alternative perspective on a familiar precedent, famous space or place. These images illustrate how the public space works in practice: exploring its features (designed and unintended), and the way it relates to the surrounding context.