Treetopia Park of Animals by

2024 Schools and Playgrounds / China / Built in 2023 /

Biodiversity is an important basis for human survival and development. When the global species extinction rate is accelerating, it is urgent to strengthen biodiversity protection and build a profound meaning of “human and natural life community”.

The project is located in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Banyan tree, as a local tree species, carries the city’s historical memory and context, and the nostalgic memory of people and trees. Each banyan tree is a small ecology, is the best shelter for animals. It is difficult to protect and preserve the century-old banyan trees on the site, try not to destroy the original ecosystem, and increase game opportunities and social activities in the limited public space. In addition, the project is adjacent to Guangzhou Chimelong Tourism Resort (including Chimelong Wildlife World, Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong Joy World), which needs to shoulder the social responsibility of animal protection and ecological environment together with them, and also needs to meet the function of municipal pocket park in the later stage.

Therefore, following the concept of “ecological priority + child friendly + nature science popularization + art interaction”, we create a natural art museum under the Banyan forest, integrate the existing natural elements in the site, create ecological scenes with different themes, and concentrate the regional diverse ecosystem under the unique centuries-old banyan tree cluster in Guangzhou. It will be built into an urban natural art park integrating natural exploration and nature research, as well as a nature education base integrating nature science popularization, all-age amusement and parent-child leisure, to enhance the public’s knowledge and fun of nature. Through a series of design strategies, the original activity site in the space is effectively revitalized, and relevant supporting facilities are optimized and improved, bringing children back to nature and re-linking the relationship between people and nature.

The Boat of Life
To preserve and protect the original century-old banyan trees on the site, we create a forest theater with the boat of life – using logs to build two boats with bird’s nest texture, and through the way of natural weaving (like the weavers weave their nests on the banyan tree), the boat of life is attached to the banyan tree, which contains the secret of the growth of the banyan tree. The Life Boat is also a place for nature classes, with craft activities, nature studies, topography workshops and other “Darwin Campsite” classes taking place on the interactive long table. Friends of all sizes can get to know the White-rumped Munia, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Spotted Dove and other local birds on the tabletop by means of topography; and they can also observe the fruits collected under the banyan tree with the science magnifying glass built under the drawer of the long table. Various small animal-shaped benches seem to be special guests of the Forest Theatre, but also in their own way to encourage children to social dialogue, interactive exploration, in line with the children’s scale and operating ability level of the horn, as well as full of the desire to explore the shape of the children to reap the benefits of the surprise of ubiquitous. Kaleidoscope, Abyssal Mirror, Balsam Fir Science, Flip Page Album, we present the ecosystem under the banyan tree through various art interactions and art science in the form of species displays, encouraging children and adults to go out and learn about nature.

Dream Jungle Island
In order to simulate the natural state of water birds, we restore the look of water bird habitats through natural-coloured bird nests, netting ropes, stakes, swinging bridges and laying nets, so that children can touch, explore and play here. As the children navigate through lying nets, swinging bridges, thick ropes, and stakes of varying heights, their grip and balance are honed and improved, and interaction and socialisation amongst the children is enhanced. On the top, different species of birds – black-faced spoonbills, cormorants, green herons and night herons – are staying. Among them, the Black-faced Spoonbill is a Grade II national protected animal, and we present it flying in the wind with a wind-activated interactive device. These play areas, completely dissolved in nature, provide children with an immersive natural playground where they can have the freedom to explore and play in the purest of environments.

Banyan Tree Secret Base
“It’s called the Embroidery-eyed Bird because of its white eye ring” and “Did you know? The finch-weaver bird, which likes to eat plant seeds the most, is a little nest weaver.” …… A big banyan tree hides many secrets of nature underneath. We hang the “Bird’s Nest” under the Banyan Tree, and with the interactive rope pulling and nature signage, it forms a nature lesson under the Banyan Tree. The Banyan Tree is a sanctuary for birds, but it is also a place for humans to listen to nature and talk to it. There is also a “Darwin Campsite” seed station, where we hide fruits and seeds in the benches. While you are looking up at the bird’s nest, don’t forget to look down at the different types of seeds.

Wonderful Banyan Forest Tribe
In the magical world of nature and the long evolution of species, the banyan tree has developed a special and intimate relationship with small animals. And it is as if the small animals are whispering under the banyan tree once in a while. There exists a synergistic evolutionary relationship between banyan trees, banyan wasps and game ants that has lasted for millions of years. So, we made the banyan fruit into a sound device, when you throw a small stone into the small hole of the banyan fruit, the banyan fruit will emit a series of marvellous sounds, as if singing. We also made the banyan bee and game meat ants into “big toys”, and children and adults can perceive the magic of nature in a fun and educational way.

Starry Sky Treasure Hunting Park
Like a secret garden where children can chase and run around and camp with their families on the large lawn, it is both a natural theatre and a healing garden, and hides a lot of knowledge about plants and the footprints of small animals in all shapes and sizes. Surrounded by greenery and the sounds of nature, sustaining the small scale of loved ones, the small knowledge of plants growing in the land, or tucked away in inconspicuous corners of the grove waiting to be discovered …… It has also invited star animals from the Chimelong Safari Park to leave their footprints in the secret garden. Footprints of different sizes and shapes are not only the best way to observe the critters, but also an important part of the study programme – the experience of foot print topography. We follow the natural attributes of the basis, to provide maximum space for children to play freely according to their own ideas, older friends are willing to spend more time to come outdoors into the nature, dialogue with nature, and regain the connection with nature.

“Treetopia Park”on the basis of following natural attributes, to provide the maximum space for children to play freely according to their own ideas, big friends are willing to spend more time outdoors into nature, dialogue with nature, and regain the connection with nature. City parks are an important part of the urban green space system. We hope that the Banyan Grove Nature Discovery Park will not only protect and restore the local ecosystem, but also promote the participation of all people in the ecosystem and understand the true meaning of the “community of life between human beings and nature”.

Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China

Design year: 2023.6

Year Completed: 2023.10


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