SOA Architekti + Ateliér KONCEPT: Revitalizing Aš’s Park of Memories

Blending Past and Present in a Unique Urban Redevelopment Project

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings-SOA Architekti + Ateliér KONCEPT: Revitalizing Aš’s Park of Memories

The Park of Memories in Aš, designed by SOA architekti and Ateliér KONCEPT, represents a unique approach to urban revitalization, blending the geographical and symbolic elements of the area. This ambitious project seeks to revive the forgotten values of the past while guiding visitors through the city’s turbulent history. By using innovative design and technology, the park aims to transform a neglected space into a vibrant cultural and historical landmark.

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings

A key feature of the park is the Time Trip mobile application, an advanced information system that enhances the visitor experience. This app provides a glimpse into Aš’s past, offering interactive points throughout the park that educate and entertain. This modern addition ensures that visitors are not only informed about the city’s history but also engaged in a meaningful way, bridging the gap between the past and present through technology.

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings

The park’s design is rooted in a spatio-temporal parallel, transitioning seamlessly from the urbanized area around Goethe’s Square to the forested park on Okružní Street. This compositional strategy links the botanical and architectural elements, reflecting the city’s diverse historical periods. The thoughtful layout emphasizes the continuity of Aš’s history, allowing visitors to explore different eras as they move through the park.

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings

A poignant aspect of the project is its reflection on a tragic chapter in Aš’s history—the destruction of the largest cemetery in the 1970s. The Historical Park features a memorial made of granite blocks, designed as a space for reflection and remembrance. This flat memorial includes stone blocks with recesses for candles, serving as a meeting place for locals and visitors from neighboring Germany. It honors the cultural and historical values lost during the cemetery’s destruction, fostering a sense of communal memory and respect.

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings

Restoring the city’s oldest stone bridge, which links the old and new parts of the Lutheran cemetery, is another significant element of the project. An archaeological survey conducted during the restoration revealed graves, human remains, and building remnants, emphasizing the project’s dedication to preserving historical artifacts. Newly discovered historic cellars will be repurposed for cultural events, further connecting the past with the city’s current cultural life.

Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings

A new footbridge adds a contemporary touch to the park, offering a parallel path that winds through the area. This structure, combining a central steel frame with wood, creates a delicate yet striking presence. Connected to wooden platforms and walkways, the footbridge ensures minimal impact on the original cemetery surface, symbolizing a respectful coexistence of old and new. Additionally, the project incorporates ecologically designed surfaces that effectively absorb water, reducing flood risk and enhancing the local water cycle. This environmentally conscious approach underscores the project’s commitment to sustainability, integrating natural and historical preservation with urban development.

The Park of Memories in Aš is an example of the power of thoughtful design and innovation in urban revitalization. By honoring the past and embracing modern technology, it creates a space where history, culture, and community intersect, offering a meaningful and engaging experience for all who visit.

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