A Spontaneous Urban Playground – Puzzle Park
The Puzzle Park is an important mini park for the suburb of Huai’an City, where open spaces are extremely scarce. Since the Puzzle Park is located at an industrial area where staffs live in adjacent neighborhoods, it brings not only precious open space but also happiness to the residents of the area.
Different from mega cities, Huai’an is surrounded by patches of farmlands with beautiful patterns. The Puzzle Park’s design inspiration comes from these patterns, as if scattered puzzles.
The Grand Slope, which sits a giant slope, is the most active part of the Puzzle Park. With a big smile, children climb, run, and slide on the Grand Slope’s four-meter-high drop. The Grand Slope is so popular that kids have to wait in line.
In front of the Grand Slope is the Cave, which is a canopied installation with vibrant colors. With kids playing beneath, the Cave also stands out as a focal point of the park. There are enclosed sitting terraces by the slope where parents can sit and chat while watching their kids play.
During the daytime, seniors enjoy the shade while looking after their grandchildren under the trees. In the evening, the seniors dance passionately with their old fellows. Some younger generations who spot business opportunities use the promenade as a “free trade zone”. As the sun sets, young businessmen and businesswomen begin setting up their booths of clothes, drinks, toys, and games.
The birth of the Puzzle Park is a gift for a small city where people tend to be more calm and content with their lives. In the city scale, nature is plugged into a cold industrial area via a warm-hearted public space puzzle. In the park scale, the Puzzle Park is designed with flexible spaces where people from all ages can enjoy their daily lives.
Name of the project: the Puzzle Park
Project category: Schools and Playgrounds
Role of the entrant in the project: landscape architect
Project location: Xuhui Plaza, Anlan North Road, Huai’an, China
Design year: 2020
Year Built: 2021