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Prato opens 3ha urban park competition

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The Italian Municipality of Prato in Tuscany has launched an open international competition for a new 3-hectare urban park

The ‘Central Park of Prato’ project will transform the former campus of the Misericordia e Dolce Hospital which is located inside the city’s fourteenth century walls.

According to the brief: ‘The main aim of the competition is to completely rethink the former hospital area, creating an urban park that endows it with a functional and strategic role so as to fully include it in the network of city relations.’

The document continued: ‘The new urban park must first of all be able to change the vision and perception not only of the new place that will be created, but it must also alter the perception of the downtown areas adjacent to it, conferring awareness that a new part of the city has been created inside the walls.’

Nearby landmarks include the 13th century red brick Palazzo Pretorio and an imperial castle built by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

Historically a major textiles manufacturing centre, Prato opened Italy’s first contemporary art gallery – the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci – in 1998. A new wing for the gallery designed by Dutch architect Maurice Nio is due to complete in October later this year.

The latest competition is divided into two lots with the first covering the park’s green areas and a 500m² new build. The second lot involves up to 3,000m² of other buildings within the park. The official language is Italian but English can be used in first round presentations.

Judges include New York and Paris-based Bernard Tschumi, city architect Francesco Procopio and Michelle Provoost of the Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians.

Ten finalist teams will be announced in mid-March and a winning design will be announced in June.

The deadline for applications is 29 February.

How to apply

View the competition website for more information

Register with UKTI for support and advice

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