Estonian Landscape Architects Union / annual award 2021 nominee
Landscape architecture
Kersti Lootus, Katri Soonberg, Marge Kõrgekuhi, Siim Lootus (Lootusprojekt)
Structural design
Silvia Ränd (Ehitiskonstrueerimise ja Katsetuste)
Fountain
Raul Lump (Heliotek)
Commissioned by
Keila Linnavalitsus
Construction
Terrat
Design
2018
Completed
2020
Total area
4,2 ha
Photos
Inge Angerjas, Ingrid Sembach-Hõbemägi

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The third oldest green area in Keila – the central park – is a 4.2-hectare cemetery park in the town centre that has undergone a thorough reconstruction. The key principle of the landscape architecture in the renovation project was to highlight the old elements of the cemetery area in symbols while improving the park’s functionality and attractiveness all year round. The spiral fountain stands for the course of life and advancement, the relationship of the present with the past and the future. There are grand old conifers – spruces, pines and larches – with equally attractive, though somewhat younger groups of stone pine, Thuja and yew. Altogether 25 different varieties of rose bushes were planted. In 2020, the central park of Keila also received the President’s acknowledgement in the competition “Beautiful Estonian Homes”.
Inge Angerjas, Deputy Mayor of Keila

The aim was to make the Central Park as the main green area of the town more user-friendly and attractive. The project included new solutions for the paths, lighting, inventory (benches, bins and other small features), a fountain and green areas. As the park is located within the area of the historical local cemetery, our reconstruction was based on the idea that the memories of the old graveyard transformed into a park over the years are carried by symbols.

The word “symbol” comes from Greek standing for a sign or a feature that conveys information on a particular idea or object. They are bearers of information functioning on different levels – emotional and intellectual, spiritual and material, eternal and temporal etc. Such a language of symbols was used also in the design project for the park in order to highlight the importance of the eternal and the temporal.

The park is rich in species and tall trees that we tried to retain as much as possible. It is also a good example of how to include several areas of diverse character in a small-town park that do not necessarily need to be paved and bare.

The aims and principles of the landscape architecture project:

  • To retain all the elements left from the old cemetery area – sun crosses, rocks and memorial stones gathered in the bushes were left untouched as they formed an integral part of the park identity.
  • To add new usages while also indicating with symbols that it is a former burial site of our ancestors.
  • To create a park for various age groups and interests in all seasons, at any time, rain or shine. There are small squares with different functions at the intersections of the main paths.

Kersti Lootus