Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
‘Fierljep’ Polder in Jinzhou, China by Bureau B+B
May 30th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Bureau B+B
The city of Jinzhou is located 430 kilometres north of Beijing in the province of Liaoning and lies 20 kilometres inland. The Jinzhou Longqiwan New Area is an urban development on the coast of the Bonzai Sea.
Part of this development is a park, for which Bureau B+B is building a ‘fierljep’ polder and an information centre. This polder-garden will open during the Jinzhou World Landscape Art Exposition in 2013.
A three-meter high dike surrounds the garden and protects the meadows and the system of ditches. The polder is vacant, devoid of views and stands in sharp contrast to the other gardens. But before you know it, the polder becomes a playground. Visitors, fathers, and children use canes to vault over the ditches from one field to another. They experience the euphoria of taking possession of inaccessible land and, by using the canes to transport themselves throughout the garden, follow the more than thousand year old tradition of ‘fierljeppen’. This spectacle can be seen from the dike: how a empty polder is transformed into a playground with leaping and laughing people.
Visitors enter the polder through the information centre. In the centre, they swap their own shoes for rubber boots and an informative film explains how to ‘leap a ditch’. The concrete space, with its alcoves and peepholes, is located in the dike and refers to a fortification. The green-impregnated concrete and caverns, which bring the sunlight into the space, offer visitors an adventure even before they enter the garden.
Flower-filled fields of grass lie between the ditches. They differ in colour due to the varied maintenance plan, visitor dynamics, and subtle differences in soil conditions and dampness. The result is a realm of meadow-islands with plants that can be tread on, plants for water and banks, clover and flowers in the grass, all of which changes during the exposition season. Pickings flowers and lying in the grass is permitted. With a hand-made crown of flowers in your hand and splashes of water on your cheek, you say good-bye to the polder.