A Free-flow Watercourse Augmented Reality in Kielce, Poland
The intricate links between water, nature, place and people refer to the main theme of the competition and reflect design objectives. Restoration of ecological processes by the river and creation of high quality green public space define value of the project.

Project covers restoration of aquatic ecosystems function by prolonging the ecological corridor running along the river by: restoration of the grassy embankments, preservation of natural meadow embankments, introduction of birdhouses, bat houses and similar structures to ensure fauna diversity, preservation of the existing trees and restoration of natural vegetation characteristic of alluvial areas, introduction of plants species that have a water treatment capacity (phytoremediation).

The plants planned in the project show strong filtering and water oxygenating features, like Phragmites australis, Schoenoplectus, absorbing with their root system chemicals from the water. Additional special “floating islands", that serve as a vegetation filter, are planned in the design area.

Natural means of flood protection outweigh the costs in the ratio of 3: 1 (Prof. B. Jessel, chief of Bundesamt fur Naturschutz: "What is good for nature, pays off to society"). Classic analysis of profit/cost does not take into account the additional advantages of natural protection: floodplains as natural ecosystems, free water treatment plant. Wild river is friendly to people and the least expensive to maintain.

One of the measures implemented in the concept is to expand the river and terrain in the form of water retention basins. Currently, oxbow lakes and wetland areas cover 3306,6sq m. Newly planned room for water will be 1242,7sq m. The total area of land dedicated to the deepening is about 11000 sq m. The planned basins give a total of 2,500 m3 volume of the river valley.

One of the project aims includes creation of high-quality recreational space by the river: zoning functions and program for recreation, ensuring pedestrian communication in the form of raised walkways above the ground that the least intrusive way to ensure the availability of the site for all types of visitors including people with disabilities, creation of places to stop in the form of wooden terraces, pavilions or specially designated zones of recreation, ensuring conditions for sunbathing and swimming in the river. Another important factor is restoring the natural character of the river by deregulation of a part of the river left bank and preservation and protection of the site aquatic ecosystems.
Client
Kielce City Hall
Phases
Concept design – 1. prize in open competition
Team
Jakub Heciak, Magdalena Wojnowska-Heciak, Mateusz Omański
Visualizations
Mateusz Omański
Date
2016
Site area
25 000 sq m
Footprint area
2200 sq m
Construction costs
3,5 million PLN