Wynberg Park is one of a few parks used by people from all over Cape Town. What makes this one special to those living far away is that visitors can ‘braai’ outside. It is one of the last natural environments in the city where this is still allowed. The second major group of users are film shoot crews, the park is popular for shoots due to its size, open sunny areas and mountain backdrops. City of Cape Town wanted the Wynberg Park master plan to be developed to allow for incremental implementation. Our concept was developed around the different landscape rooms existing in the park. The aim is to preserve the unique characteristics of different parts of the park. It is an underlying matrix, depicting a pattern in the landscape. The aim is to respect the historical planting patterns while integrating more process oriented design into the matrix to encourage biodiversity. Over the years, ad hoc tree planting has undermined the original planting concept by what seems to have been a strategy to plant a tree in every possible gap in the park. Once these trees grow to maturity most of the local and distant views will be lost as well as the sunlit picnic areas.
The park is to a large extent a landscape denuded of life, similar to the ecological condition of a golf course. The entire park is mowed, which systematically removes all remaining indigenous fynbos plants and seedlings. The river system is regularly poisoned to remove aquatic vegetation. Almost 90% of the vegetation in the park is exotic. The park is therefore not related to the wider landscape of the lower slopes of Table Mountain and the diverse, magical Cape Floristic Kingdom.
We propose to conserve the stone pine forest and develop it into an outdoor sculpture garden where visiting sculptors can work in this inspiring environment. The hydrological system in this park is one of its greatest assets. It has ecological, aesthetic and recreational values. The recreation potential of the stream could be realised if it was more accessible, steep slippery edges can be altered in parts to be designed as more gentle slopes, weirs can be bridges allowing water to be dammed up and allowing children to walk through the water.