Site History and Significance
Peru’s First Park
Located in the center of Peru’s capital, the city of Lima, the Parque was built in the midst of the mid-nineteenth-century Guano Era, at a time when local and national politicians were looking to publicize Peru’s post-Independence prosperity and attract foreign investments.
To this end, in 1869 President José Balta announced the organization of the Lima International Exhibition, which would be held at the new Parque de la Exposición and its first pavilion, the Palacio de la Exposición. Exhibition parks at the time were a European phenomenon, recreational green spaces meant to encourage health and exercise for populations in industrial cities. They were still a novelty in Peru, where there were mostly boulevards and private gardens. Many of the gates, fences, iron pillars, statues, vases, and other artworks scattered throughout the Parque de la Exposición were imported from France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland.
Today, the Parque de la Exposición serves as an urban recreational and cultural space in Peru’s busy capital, and is home to two major museums: the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) (in the converted Palacio de la Exposición) and the Museo Metropolitano de Lima. The park has undergone several modifications between surface cuts due to the urbanization process of the city and within its buildings, landscapes, and layout.
Landscape and Urban Redesign Project
In 2016, the Museo de Arte de Lima and Grupo Centenario launched an international architecture competition for a new wing expansion of the museum and the remodeling of the Parque de la Exposición.
Based on the design proposal of the competition winners, Burgos & Garrido and the LLAMA Urban Design consortium in Peru, in May 2019 WMF began work to study, diagnose, and develop the proposed urban-landscape remodeling of the park with the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima in advance of Peru’s Bicentennial of Independence in July 2021 and WMF’s 55th anniversary in 2020. The project will be executed with funds from the Lima Municipality through INVERMET, Fondo Metropolitano de Inversiones and is expected to be concluded during 2022.
The park’s redesign is intended to enrich the experience of visitors and restore the park’s original dense vegetation through a series of interventions including the installation of a treatment plant to provide clean water for irrigation alongside a new irrigation engineering system for the site.
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