Parque Atlantico, Santander, Spain

La Vaguada de las Llamas

Vulgare runs another eye-popping photo feature, this time on the 200-acre Parque Atlantico (“Atlantic Park”) in Santander, Spain.  Situated in a thalweg called La Vaguada de las Llamas (“The Valley of Flames”), the site was once a marshy estuary fed by a stream from the Atlantic Ocean.  Cut off from its coastal connection over the course of 19th and 20th century development, the site became an informal dumping ground for garbage, rubble and liquid waste, which progressively damaged its remaining ecosystem.  After the City Council gained control of the land in the early 2000s, it held a design competition for a park that would assist the site’s environmental recovery and serve as a beautiful and valuable public space.  The selected proposal, by architects Enric Batlle Duran and Joan Roig Duran, creates three levels, the lowest being a natural riverbed and artificial lake to host local wildlife and vegetation. Construction began in 2007, and the first phases of the park are now open to the public.

In addition to its terraces, gardens and paths, the park has a gym, an amphitheater, a playground, a cafeteria with roof garden and will eventually also host a museum and a botanical garden featuring flora from around the world.

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