Following the newish tradition of turning abandoned urban structures into vibrant green spaces, a surface of over 34 acres belonging to a freight rail until the 1990s was recovered and transformed into an amazing public park in Mendoza, Argentina’s fourth largest city (famous for its Malbec wine and access to the Aconcagua peak in the Andes).
Penned by B4FS architects, the project sought to pay tribute to the old use of the area, so the main route of the park follows the railway location. It also aimed at paying tribute to water, a crucial element for the city, which grew around dessert lands.
Over 1200 trees and 16 thousand species of plants were installed in the massive space when it was opened in 2006, although not all of them native.
Called Central Park, the green space combines recreational and cultural activities and incorporates the history of the rail. It is said to benefit over 120 thousand citizens.
Two pedestrian bridges connect the park to La Nave: a 21,000 sq. feet abandoned warehouse which was turned into a stunning cultural center with a theater, exhibition rooms and flexible spaces for performance shows.
The old iron structure and galvanized tin covering that made the building was kept and improved with proper isolation, interrupted only by a glass structure which aims to show what’s going on inside.
While it would have been interesting to see a landscape that resembles more the natural ecosystems of the area instead of a lush green that doesn’t seem natural in the dessert, the city has an extended irrigation ditches system that uses melt-water from the mountains to water its vegetation.