City parks- modern renovations

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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Parks within the boundaries of the big city provide a special place where everyone can come to get some fresh air and rest from the hustle and bustle of city life. To draw people’s interest to the picturesque natural surroundings, architects, together with the city administration, redesign parks from time to time.  Footpaths change, lawns are re-landscaped, new sculpture parks are set up.

Today we look at a few successful projects to upgrade parks and waterfronts. They were carried out by different architects in different countries, but they are united by a similar goal:  to rethink the role of parks in the context of the city and to attract a new, younger generation.

A skatepark in Kenya

Landscape architect Ralph Meyer has been designing skateparks around the world. This time he had the difficult task to build a park for skateboarding in Kenya. Despite a limited budget, the architect succeeded brilliantly and designed a modern platform for skateboarding, equipping it with all the necessary figures.

The structure of the site

The skate area was designed and built with the financial support of Skate-Aid. It has all the necessary elements to perform tricks on a skateboard. In addition to space for skateboarding, the park included a place for a mini football field and basketball courts.

Shiosai Park

Shiosai Park is located in Kobe, situated on an island in Japan called Honshu. Kobe is one of the main ports of Japan, and the city is a major industrial center of the country of the rising sun. The project Crater Lake won the Kobe Biennale, held in 2011. The concept of the park was born as a result of the tragic events related to the major earthquake that took place in the city in 1995. It is dedicated to the social connections between people, their solidarity and willingness to help each other and to rebuild the city with Kobe again, to make it comfortable to live in.

The aim of the project Crater Lake is to create an open wooden landscape, which provides a space on every surface to sit or lie down. The additional chairs that we see in the center can be moved from place to place.

The design

Crater Lake was designed by young architects from 24° Studio.  During the construction of the wooden sculptures, standard sizes and standard metal products were used, in order to avoid costly individual production. For the structural elements, standard fittings and bars were used and 30 × 60 mm cedar boards for surface  .

To make the modern installation’s smooth wavy shape, Crater Lake circumferential surface was 20 divided into radial segments. Each segment has  surface boards that are attached to three structural ribs. For those who prefer to sit on a comfortable chair in the center of Crater Lake, the top of the hill serves as protection against bright sunlight and wind, which is often blowing off the water in this beautiful park.

For more public architecture, have a look at the commercial section of homify. 

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