Kirkkojärvi Flood Park
A green oasis in the river valley shaped by movement of water
Loci Landscape Architects
Kirkkojärvi Park is located in central Espoo, the second largest city by population in Finland, in the Espoonjoki River Valley. The river valley is an old cultural landscape; here an old medieval church dominated the open landscape and could be seen from far away. The park used to be a lake but was drained in 1959 when the building of Finnish National Road 1 started. The area remained a wasteland and the landscape gradually became overgrown. Views of the church were obscured by vegetation and the church gradually lost its role as a dominant feature of the landscape. Now, the Espoonjoki River runs through the scrubby wetlands of Kirkkojärvi. The river floods frequently because of melting snow in the spring and heavy rainfall in the autumn. In addition, climate change has made flooding during the winter more common. Flooding blocks the routes and playing fields in the riverside area.