This transformation of an airport into landscape works to balance the extreme climate, the design interlocks three scales: geographical, urban and local. The design meshes precisely formulated climatic and poetic goals in an inextricable way. The reflections of the office are at once complex and simple, of enormous depth, yet with childlike wonder. The design works well on all scales, from the park as a whole to a pedestrian perspective. The jury recognized the relaxed design language of the park that makes it look undetermined, as if it can change at any point. The design shows a powerful mix of a personal design language which doesn’t celebrate itself, but serves the adventures of the visitor through differentiated landscapes, climatic spaces and atmospheres.- from the award statements
Situated beneath the Tropic of Cancer, the climate of Taiwan is warmed by the Kuro-Shio, one of the largest marine currents in the world. The island possesses a hot and humid tropical climate that counterbalances the mountain range that has a fresher environment. The target of Central Park is to give back the outdoors to the inhabitants by creating landscapes where the excesses of the climate of Taichung are reshaped.
The park use a specific language, one of universal reach in its capacity to relate the issues at stake at different scales. The geographic scale by the transformation of an airport into an urban landscape; the urban scale by the provision of unique cultural facilities integrated into a vast public terrain; the domestic scale in the porosity between districts that allow sharing of recreational opportunities. The interlocking of these levels is a unique achievement.
The design tools explore lithosphere design -water, topography, soil- combined with atmosphere design -heat, humidity, pollution. An overlapping mapping organizes a range of landscape distributing more comfortable ‘niches’ where natural and artificial tools are mixed, densified and dilated to highlight eleven comfortable resorts. The atmosphere performing is emphases by the lithosphere resources running with singular path through leisure’s lands, sports lands and plays lands.
Beyond providing for the comfort of outdoor life, the creation of these ground foldings is a technical tool parameterized according to porosity gradients. The permeability of a support determines its ability to capture water and thereby initiate living media. A little hole in the soil retains water, which in contact with oxygen germinates a seed, and little by little, a plant becomes landscape.
The landscape pulls from North to South. Urban traffic is partially covered by infrastructures incorporated into the ground of the park. On the surface the hills establish a framework of vast horizons and continuities. Yet standing before them, they are also intimate and protective, for the staging of cultural events or regular shelter with Northern Lounge, Eastern Spiral, Middle Yard, Eastern Sky dome and Middle Clearings.
The stratigraphy of ground is correlated to the stratigraphy of vegetation, which provides long-term indices of storm water runoff and air quality. This data is articulated at comfortable resorts. These are distributed and display environmental parameters relevant to the activities associated. Vegetative gradients ‘punctuating’ the park use the diversity of Taiwanese biomes to emphasize areas from the least hot, to the least polluted, to the least wet. Each series of vegetation and installations distinguishes a garden within the park. In addition to introducing a vast ‘green lung’ to the city, Central Park punctuates the main flows by ‘encounters areas’ where users share a common space for the expression of civic behavior.
The park acts as a moderator: it proposes a variety of beaches, of gardens, of places and offer to the people of Taichung sensual experiences, partly based on the principle of senses of Rudolf Steiner, with twelve Fields -Speech, Taste, Hearing, Equilibrium, Thinking, Vision, Movement, Ego, Touch, Warmth, Smell, Life- providing visitors with places of gaming, meeting or just walk around powerful landscapes
The leisure’s lands, sport lands and play lands transform all that cross its vast, folded ground stretching. This topographic range allows residents to gain height and distance from their daily rhythms while being immersed in a living environment that is in constant formation. The ground introduces anfractuosities that protect passers-by from urban traffic while ensuring the continuity of ecological migration corridors, running 2.7km south to north, of animal, plant and human populations.
A sensor mesh captures the park’s environmental parameters of human physiological comfort (air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, pollution particles or noise pollution). This data is then graphically transcribed, in real-time, by a smartphone application accessible by visitors who wish to align their schedules to a fluctuating but legible environment.
This “smart” park system is relayed by a maintenance center North of the site. A wastewater treatment center in the South. The energy produced by the photovoltaic panels (1ha) in the North and South ensures the autonomy of lighting and other equipment in the park. The maintenance center and the educational pavilions completed the cultural programming of the visitor center which is focused on issues concerning the planet earth.
Central Park forges dynamic interactions between environments and the populations that inhabit them. Facilities allow residents to become aware of invisible resources and to enjoy their value within an everyday lifestyle. The park is the essential and necessary one today, of well-being, of comfort and sensual pleasures to bring to the inhabitants of big metropolitan cities.
Project category : Public Project
Role of the entrant in the project: Lead architect
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Philippe Rahm architectes, Ricky Liu & Associates Architects and Planners
Project location : Taichung Central Park – 407, Taiwan, Taichung City, Xitun District, Taichung, Taiwan
Design year : 2011
Year Built : 2020