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.
DRAGONFLY PARK in Hội An, Vietnam by V-architecture
March 31st, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: V-architecture
PHYLOSOPHY – BE GENTLE WITH NATURE
Traditionally, the designer sees building (architecture) in terms of its aesthetics, siting, spatial utilization, form, structure, building elements, use of color and shade, and other usual features of architectural design. However, the ecologist sees building in the context of the ecosystem concept. This means that he or she conceives a building as consisting of not only the a biotic (non-living) components but also the biotic (living) components, all of which operate together as a whole system in the context of other ecosystems in the biosphere.
In our practices, we strive for a style of architecture that is as less lightly impact on nature as possible. This is the architecture that follows the internal rules and conditions of mother earth, while still ensuring comfort for human. Architectural works should be parts of nature. Design concepts should be derived from nature. Sustainable architecture is not only about protecting environment and saving energy, but also about changing awareness and behaviors of human; in order to make human less depend on modern equipment and more friendly with natural living environment.
In the past, Hoi An coastal landscape is formed by sand dunes and local vegetation. The sand dune is formed by wind, rain and geological conditions, constantly changing depending on the weather. The plants that survive on those dunes have well adapted to the natural conditions of salinity and water shortage, bring distinctive pictures of local identity. However, in the last 20 years, the development of economy, tourism and construction of seaside resorts has cause huge consequences including flattened natural terrain, more concrete zones, and exotic plants growth.
The rapid economic and tourism development in Hoi An during the last two decades has brought negative impacts on the local natural environment. The native coastal landscape of Hoi An coast characterized by native plants and sand hills formed through a long time with wind, rain, and geology has been replaced by hard scape and exotic plants. The typical natural landscape which has formed the identity of Hoi An has been damaged. Moreover, the hotels and resorts by the coastline have also obstructed the view toward the ocean, and reduced the living quality of local people.
To address coastal areas are being aggressive and the gradual disappearance of local plant vigor and bring unique landscape, the park was designed and built with a view “Natural Park” the status quote is preserved landscape, topography and natural vegetation available. Natural Park is preserved intact landscape, topography and natural vegetation available. “Natural” gardens that we observe and enjoy the surrounding nature as it is and we’ll activity and rest under the shade, wind and natural demand of ourselves. We can learn about nature through the introduction of plant table, the motion of the sun, shade and wind direction over time will also be recognized in the process of active choice of relaxation play according to personal taste. Three additional items are made to serve the needs of the community and the rest of the child’s play: Garden Hammocks, Toilet Dragonfly Wings and the Exhibition & Entertainment are inspired by nature, gentle and very little impact on the construction area.
By using the law of natural evolution and fitting the form to the function, it is possible to create a successful, cost-effective and environmentally oriented architecture. In nature there is no form without function, or function without form. Everything has a purpose and reason for being. The best results are obtained when structure meets function and when there is a good relationship with materials, form and context. Nature offers the best solution in terms of shape, form, function, structure, and that is why its study is useful for finding new and successful ideas. So it can be said that the nature has the most influence on the design concept, and the concept is the core of the project.
Dragonfly Park is one of the projects within the efforts to improve public spaces in the city, sponsored by HSF and IUCN, with the purpose of changing thoughts and approaches of city’s authorities in constructing coastal projects as well as increasing physical area for public’s playing ground.
The site locates on the coast of Hoi An, one of the very few areas with the primitive topography and more than 40 existing native plants. With such existing natural conditions, Dragonfly Park was developed with the concept to protect the native landscape of the area. Inspired by the way a dragon fly gently landing on a tree branch or a water surface, the design of the park tried to maintain the entire existing habitat and put almost no intervention to the land. That is the idea to bring users closer to nature, and change their awareness about it.
The entire vegetation on site are kept intact. Three works have been added to the park including: The Hammock garden, The Dragonfly restroom, and Exhibition / Play Area.
Hammock Garden is the play and rest area for both children and adults. Inspired from spider web, and made from ropes, the hammocks are tied to the casuarina trees. At different times of the day, they could be tied to different trees to ensure shade and comfort for users. This flexibility allows children to creatively active and discover upon their own. The hammocks could be easily made by local people.
DRAGONFLY RESTROOM (TOILET)
The concept for the restroom has been derived from the dragonfly with the two light and large wings. These wings have been designed to sustain the strong wind from the sea and collect rainwater. Together they could collect 180 cubic meters per year, equivalent to 5000 times of flushing the toilet.
DRY FOREST PAVILION (EXHIBITION / PLAY AREA)
Exhibition Center locates next to the sea. The design concept was inspired from the dead trees on the beach due to erosion. All the branches are deeply planted in the sand and linked together at the top, resembling the Casuarina trees and the way they holding on together to sustain strong wind. After the next two months, this all structure will be reused entirely to build an active play space for children. The space t hen will be restructured, resembling a native coastal plant of Hoi An.