Tag Archive: park

  1. Central Park
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    Central Parks are green islands within cities, where a natural landscape contrasts with the surrounding urban setting. Such contrast -we believe- is where the quality lies and the limit between Park and City is where the transition can be more dramatically experienced. Our proposal for Central Park Kaliningrad, is an “Island in an Island”, where the insular identity of the park is maximized by digging a new canal, transforming the edge in a new rich and diverse urban experience.

    Oktyabrsky island, is a partially artificial land which demanded massive investment to be realized. The project of the Park aims to be sustainable both financially and technically. The excavated land from the perimetrical canal, is reused in order to form landforms, unique symbols of the future park. The current acid soil, is diversified (by adding layers of alkaline one) in order to create a neutral and basic soils, in addition to the acid one. The resulting landscapes will follow the soil chemical composition avoiding a mere top-down, neo-pastoral approach but, rather generating a park genuinely part of the site ecosystem.

    The urgency of the changing climate, alongside a new understanding of human responsibility, lead the project to be based on one of the main natural resources: soil. The varying acidity of the different layers provide the conditions for different habitats responding to the ground conditions, rather that recreating a fictitious scenography.

    Our project takes the quality of the transition and multiply it by three. The transition becomes here not only a separation between city and park but, through the digging of a canal and the formation of an island, the edge becomes simultaneously city, waterfront, canal and park. 



    Bridges are not meant as simple infrastructures, but they are public spaces able to intercept the different target groups of Kaliningrad. The 4 main bridges (Cloud, Net, Triple, Smart) create the ground for specific social practices and recreational activities, while becoming new landmarks of accessibility. 



    Oktyabrsky island, is a partially artificial land which demanded massive investment to be realized. The project of the Park aims to be sustainable both financially and technically. The excavated land from the perimetrical canal, is reused in order to form a hill, unique symbol of the future park.








  2. Tree Top Trail
    Lagodekhi | Georgia

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    Located amid Lagodekhi Natural Reserve in eastern Georgia, the Tree Top Trail is meant to maximize the experience of nature, intended as -in the words of David Attenborough, “the greatest source of excitement, beauty and intellectual interest”. The trail, takes advantage of the topography in order to avoid the use of an elevator. The access point is located on a higher point of the uneven terrain and, from there, it ramps up to reach greater heights, gradually showcasing the forest as a vertical ecosystem. 

    Its defining circular shape, sharply contrasts with the forms of nature, avoiding any simplistic mimic; furthermore, the trail trajectory is always curving, constantly disappearing within the forest canopy, generating a desire to discover the forest, step by step.
    Three main attractions are placed within the trail: a copper sphere which functions as a multimedia room for 360 degrees’ projections, a large net, for visitors to lay or play and a panoramic tower which allows a view over the forest, and integrates a half-spiral staircase to exit, as an alternative to walking back through the long ramp of the trail.


    The columns of the structure are organized in clusters, abstract simplifications representing group of trees in the forest and are made from cor-ten steel. In total there are 17 column clusters that support the trail and the additional elements.



  3. Revealing Geometries
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    Kaliningrad is a city defined by a long and complex history: the palimpsest of the different trances of the past have been –for the most part- erased by the World War. Nevertheless, the project site is one of the few parts of the city that have survived, and is currently witness the different epochs that the city has gone through; the upper and lower pond of Teutonic’s Knights, the military defense infrastructures of the Prussians and the Soviet public park. Despite its cultural relevance, the park has been left abandoned for decades, and the historical infrastructures have turned into ruins. 


    “Revealing Geometries” takes shape physically and conceptually, from the fact that ruins can become –as a radical form of preservation- the matrix for a new identity, and similarly, untamed nature the matrix for a rich natural ecosystem. The recognition of the site as a form of archeological park – gives the opportunity to secure in time and space the traces of the past, transforming them into a new cultural/education infrastructure at public disposal. 

    While radical preservation defines the general approach, two design actions are re-defining the park(s): (1) retracing the former path system of the Prussian’s Wallpromeade and (2) defining new geometries that can enhance the rich cultural/environmental context of the area while hosting new programmatic opportunities. 



    The geometrical spatial definition of the “devices” -responding to the military defense infrastructure and Prussian landscape gardening design language- overlaps with the parks in seven different locations. They are as intensive design interventions centered around the main features of the site (water, ruins, topography, etc.); they are program-less objects that create the conditions for temporary occupation, while permanently highlighting the cultural and environmental diversity of the park, and more broadly, of the ring to-come.


    The park is in-fact a system of 2 parks defined by autonomous identities: Kashtanovy Park and Litovsky Park, tight together by a comprehensive strategy. It bears the potential of rethinking the former ring as a whole: a new infrastructure that can host social and ecological interaction, while bringing back the historical layers as evidences to pass-on to future generations. 










  4. Parco Reggia di Rivalta
    Reggio Emilia | Italy

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    The “Parco della Reggia di Rivalta” although its empty appearance, is a ground that has been occupied by several functions over time: it has been administrated by several owners, and it has gone through both splendor and decay. In the public imaginary, the park is associated with the garden realized in the first half of the 18th century –now lost- where the reference to Versailles Garden was sharp and recognizable. Yet, the site has been witnessing a number of histories and not just one.
    The plurality of the past traces become main ingredients of the design, a palimpsest which doesn’t give priority only to the historical garden, but also refers to the different epochs, including its rural past and its current use as a public park.


    A perimetral boulevard hosts a number of ‘design intensities’ while assuring a complete accessibility of the site. The boulevard creates a frame that defines a inner rural park: agricultural land is here rendered accessible by diagonal paths, that refer to both the enlighten landscape design principles as much as to the agricultural pattern of the region.



    The park becomes a platform for several programmatic scenarios, from local ones to national or even international events. The park aims to bridge the gap between conservation and change, reinterpreting the traces of the past in a contemporary park able to respond to the local yet global identity of Reggio Emilia.








  5. Commission | Jul 2018
    Tree Top Trail
    Lagodekhi | Georgia

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    We have been selected to design a Tree Top Trail in Lagodekhi Natural Park in east Georgia, alongside Cityförster, Imagine Structure GmbH and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN). The project, commissioned by WWF Caucasus Programme Office, is a pedestrian flyover meandering in between the high trees, and is intended as a new eco-touristic attraction able to address both educational and recreational elements. The infrastructure, once realized, will become a device to experience the diverse ecosystems of Lagodekhi Protected Areas.

  6. Commission | Jan 2018
    Litovsky Val
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    We are happy to share that we have been commissioned to design the City Wall Park of Kaliningrad, Russia. The Walls are one of the few parts of the city that have survived the war. Constructed by the Prussian in the 19th century, when the city was called Königsberg, they have become one of the main public spaces of the city during the soviet period, before falling in the current state of decay.
    Kaliningrad is now undergoing a period of change, centered around public spaces. Other project areas have been currently commissioned, under the same program, to offices such as Topotek 1, West 8, De Urbanisten, Oasi Architects.

  7. Theatre of Wonders
    Moscow | Russia

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    The “Theatre of Wonders” is a form of public space where the “audience” become the active part of the play, and where functions become performances.
The ambition is to give a new –horizontal- landmark to Moscow celebrating its users and the vibrant life that it hosts, while aligning to the experimental tradition of Gorky Park, since the 1923 Exhibition.
    Our Pushkinskaya embankment proposal, enhances the connection with Gorky Park, becoming its mineral counterpart: a space for organized and occasional events and performances of varying scales.


    The “Theatre of Wonders” aims in-fact to rebalance the ratio between leisure and culture, reinforcing the latter, by re-interpreting the original principles of CPKIO (Central Park of Leisure and Culture).


    On the central part of the embankment, an extended and light metal structure is located. The Frame is the infrastructure that integrates scenographic lighting typologies, creating dramatic effects in night time, while reducing the need of temporary structures for events, and therefore limiting the disruptive logistics of the assembly/disassembly.
    The Frame creates a new horizontal surface where, besides the lighting, objects as art installations can be hung, giving extra space for exhibitions and products showcase.







  8. Zhangjiang Future Park
    Shanghai | China

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    Zhangjiang Future Park will become a new focal point for Pudong with communal public facilities combining nature, culture and entertainment with green landscaped buildings and a public park blending into its surrounding.
    Located in Pudong, Shanghai, Zhangjiang Future Park is part of a high-technology and innovation district for both national and international companies hosting over 100,000 workers. Aside from being a business and industrial park, the area provides residences for workers and their families who live nearby. The competition-winning design combines 10,000m2 of public plazas and 37,000m2 of four distinct venues – a library, an art centre, a performance centre and a sports centre. Furthermore, 56,000m2 of public park will be created which blends in and draws from the natural green surrounding landscapes.



    The four distinct buildings are at the heart of this development and offer within walking distance an array of cultural and entertainment facilities. They all have activated roofs forming an elevated area connected together with pedestrianized bridges, acting as a second city layer that provides views of the river and neighborhood and picnic areas. The design proposes a recognizable collection of buildings that emerge seemingly like silhouetted cracks in the landscape and provide different perspectives depending on where one is located on the site. The green roofs program not only offers a lively and biodiverse park program integrated into the building’s function but they provide sustainable benefits including stormwater drainage, cleaner air, noise reduction and energy savings due to thermal insulation.


  9. Workshop | May 2017
    Landscapes of Integration
    Mazara del Vallo | Italy

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    Between 5th and 9th May, 2017, we have carried out a workshop within the framework “ConnectingCity | Mediterranean Landscapes and UrbanLab” (an itinerant landscape and architecture lab that aims to discover and link the multiple identities of Mazara del Vallo, a city in the middle of the Mediterranean where stories and culture, landscapes and architecture meet).

    Our scope is to re-imagine the railway corridor, once the train traffic will be moved North, overcoming a great amount of urban and social issues generated by the infrastructure which literally cuts the city in 2 halves.
    Our proposal, starts from the unique character of the city: a multicultural city worldwide renown for the fishing industry and its agricultural inland. By reinterpreting the main features of Mazara del Vallo in a new-linear public space that provides the value of privacy that both the local and the Arabic culture share, in one truly Mediterranean intervention.


  10. Sokolniki: 4 parks, 40 forests
    Moscow | Russia

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    4 Parks
    Sokolniki Park is not one park, it is several parks in one. Currently two types are dominating: the commercialized urban theme-park and a kind of low maintenance natural landscape park.
    But Sokolniki Park, with its size and structure has the potential to house even more park types under its unifying ‘roof of tree crowns’. It can also develop an identity as a manicured city garden and a more open and less prescribed city park.
    In this way the different identities make the park more attractive to wider audiences and allow for a more diverse programming and habitat. The coexisting identities unified by the forest make Sokolniki unique.
    Sokolniki Park is the urban retreat, the big forest that houses urban treasures within it.

    40 Forests
    Sokolniki park is commonly perceived as one forest. With a trees coverage of nearly 80% the park can be seen as one continuous woodland structured by the radial system of main paths and made accessible by some experience trails that cut through the forest and link together existing program and newly programmed spaces, in relation with the natural context.
    But there is much more potential than that.
    By keeping the existing canopy of trees untouched, acknowledged as the main natural (and cultural) quality of the park, just by working various forest understories settings, a great variety of forest typologies could be generated.



    The experience of the forest in Sokolniki today is pretty limited. Visitors mainly use the rays’ system to stroll or bike; usage of the forest is restricted to short accesses of about 100 meters. This happens because there is a lack of a path system of intermediate importance between the rays and the dense web of informal trails through the forest. The main concentration areas are the 3 main plazas that works as accesses from the city to the park and main gathering points. A series of food/drink outlets and kiosks along the main triangular structure are also points of high concentration. In a secondary level the whole system of landscape feature will attract a number people in the forest.





    Thematic loops constitute a network to explore the park: Landscape and gardens loop, Festival loop, Playground loop, Horse riding loop, Mountain biking loop, Art loop, Adventure trail loop, Skiing loop

    The entrances as themed event park zones: The main entrances are the most active centres of Sokolniki Park – themed event park zones around three functional plazas: Fountain Plaza, the historic, but currently only focal point of the park; Health and Sport Plaza in the North-West with entrance from the train stations; Forest Plaza in the North- East with the focus on “Nature in the City”




  11. Xiangmi Orchard
    Shenzhen | China

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    Xiangmi is a natural retreat where people can escape the hustle and bustle of the noisy urban environments. The juxtaposition of different landscapes provide a wide range of scenarios where people can enjoy the park in different ways. From strolling through experience paths that cross the lychee forest, to fish in the natural ponds where rain water is collected and purified; from playing in the sport fields and playgrounds, to enjoy the locally grown products in blossoming fields -reminding the agriculture past of the area. The common theme that ties the different landscapes together is the sustainable approach that leads to reuse soil and water, and take advantage of renewable natural resources to create a healthy balance between people and nature.


    1. CONNECT: An inviting new hotspot for the neighborhood 2. RE-USE: A symbol for sustainability 3. DIVERSITY: A beautiful collection of natural and artificial settings

    While the built environment of Shenzhen is changing rapidly, trees can be seen as its only true and lasting heritage. Besides this, the dense lychee forest gives Xiangmi Orchard a special atmosphere that we consider very valuable. Therefore, our idea is to preserve as many of the existing trees as we can. Any construction or intervention should always focus on keeping the trees intact. The integration of trees within paths, plazas, stairs and buildings, the character Xiangmi Orchard will become even more unique.

    The construction of large new buildings like the Flower Expo always starts with excavation. Transporting the excavated soil to another location would require many truck journeys and would therefore cause a large emission of CO2. Rather than considering this excess soil a problem, we use it as a resource. Together with the soil that comes from the enlargement of the lake and the construction of two new ones, it is used to create a sound barrier the park and Xiangmihu Road. The hills are planted with tea bushes and will have small pavilions integrated, as well as the recycling center.


    The new pedestrian bridge that connects the westside of the park to the east side adds an entire new level to the experience of the park. Starting from a height of 8 meters above the ground, visitors will have a panoramic overview of the entire park. It connects directly to the higher floors of the natural science library. Above the hill, the bridge submerges through the dense canopy of the lychee forest.



  12. Jianshan Landscape City
    Haining | China

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    The location chosen for the Jianshan New City is situated in a breath-taking natural landscape context, between the hills and river. This provides the opportunity for future dwellers of the new city to have physical and visual contact with the largest scale of natural landscape.
    The different scales and types of landscape both natural and man-made, together form the landscape framework of the plan.
    The primary connections between the hills and the river are formed by four linear parks. Three parks connect into this structure – the central park, the eastern park and the golf park.
    The central park is the main meeting space of the city and is organized into two main parts: densely planted outer edge of forest and he inner area, a collage of different
    functions that will host a number of different activities and programs.
    In the outer part, a web of paths links from the context into the park. In the inner area a large central lake allows visitors direct contact with the water and plays host to a number of water based activities such as fishing, sailing and canoeing. Other areas are dedicated to agriculture, ecology and woodland. There is also a large events space.


    The primary connections between the hills and the river are formed by four linear parks. Three parks connect into this structure – the central park, the eastern park and the golf park. A finer grain network of linear green spaces along the canals create additional green pedestrian and cycle connections in the plan A continuous network of tree-lined streets will create quality addresses, and a green, shady and walkable city.



    A strategy of minimal intervention in the existing water network and the addition of a new central lake in the central park will provide the required water storage in the new city. The water network will be integrated into the landscape and the streetscape, creating urban quality from a water management necessity.


    A strategy of minimal intervention in the existing water network and the addition of a new central lake in the central park will provide the required water storage in the new city. The water network will be integrated into the landscape and the streetscape, creating urban quality from a water management necessity.SCHEMES