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.
CHILDREN PARK at EXPO 2015 in Milan, Italy by ZPZ Partners
August 11th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: ZPZ Partners
The Children’s Park, a linear garden with eight attractions on raised platforms, has giant bobbin-shaped elements in wooden lattice sheltering the exhibits and children’s activities from rain and sun. Fragments of domesticated nature where the natural and artificial coexist, the exhibits were designed to privilege the organic language of nature as opposed to a more formal architectural vocabulary.
The project, essentiallya nature walk with eight exhibits,offers children play ful learning experiences as they interact with various aspects of Expo Milan 2015’s core theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. An hour long tour includes each of the eight exhibits, brief interactive games for groups of around 25 children (a typical school class size), allowing approximately 1,200 visitors an hour, including adult chaperons.
A path of larch wood slats in irregular widths widens out in correspondence with the exhibits. The suspended bobbin shaped structures, lifted off the ground by three supports, are twelve meters in diameter and 7.5 meter stall. The structures, also used for technical and support equipment, light up in the evening, making the Children’s Park visible from a distance.
The design strategy was inspired by a need to create a unified visual perception while heralding the experiential, interactive and did actic exhibits along the path, occasionally interspersed with natural planting. The solution was to approach the project as landscape architecture, confronting the language of nature-by-design, the lexicon of historicItaliangardens, butalso the sequential nature more typicallyfound in agriculture.
The objective was not to build architectural structures but places with permeable surfaces using the language of gardens, woven elements hat recall living plants or plant material fossils. The structures, their colors becoming less intense towards the top, also create a dialogue with ther iparian forest planted along the Park’sedge. Just inside, the Expo canalis planted with the med areas of mono-specific vegetation; decorative or fruit bearing trees and shrubs are linked to the did actic path which includes a butterfly gardenand an aromatic plant garden.
The structure for parkamenities (bathrooms for children, technical equipment tomonitor the exhibits, security surveillance, technical areas,and the flights of stairs leading to the plaza are clad in larchwood in three different widths, each stained a different beigeand laid out in random double curves, dematerializing the structure and increasing the visual perception of material ityand color.
The park’sentrance and exit have picnic are as surrounded by vegetation typically found in oak-horn beam forests, and glades equipped with rainbow colored gazebos, a labyrinth of reflective prisms, and other surprises hanging from trees.
The Children’s Parks proposes an imageof children as explorers; intelligent, competent, capable of meeting contemporary cultural on a visual level, and gifted with theirown personal learning strategies. The aestheticis far from the usual childish fairytales and primary colors, brimming with a visual language created by and for children: large animals made from their original drawings, planetary messages, interactive video, and opportunities to explore the complex theme of sustainable living.
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