Project name：Park Block
Project address ：Ningbo, China
Design company：TK Studio
Chief designer：Tawatchai Kobkaikit
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
In the Park Block project, we aim to amplify the beauty of nature, and integrate the natural elements with the project. We have always live aside with nature, and the most comfortable living environment should be as close as it can to be connected with nature. Nowadays, the urban living has less and less connection to the natural environment. As a result, human is receiving less benefit from the nature. Thus, the Park Block project has a strong vision to reflect the origin of the living environment in order to introduce the most comfortable living landscape for the residents.
SITE CHARACTER & ANALYSIS
Park Block is a public plaza located among the residential buildings. The site is relatively flat. The space for landscape design is constrained by the layout of the buildings on the site. Since the public plaza is located diagonally on the bigger plot of land and the buildings are arranged perpendicularly on plan, the resulting area for landscape design is irregular in shape.
DESIGN CRITERIA & CONCEPT
Despite of this constraint, our team has taken it as a design opportunity and proposed to use triangular geometry to create functioning spaces in order to maximize the usage of land. The triangular geometry has three major design advantages for the project. First, the triangular layout on land effectively utilized all corner space between buildings. It is a flexible geometry that can easily break into smaller pieces and fit in the irregular space. Second, the triangular setting of space allows higher accessibility from one place to another, enhance the efficiency of circulation. Third, the shape of triangle creates longer parameter and more sides of a geometry. Hence, it provides more opportunities for people to enjoy and interact with the landscape.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN & PROGRAMMES
Great number of trees are planted on the site, they are the symbol of forest in nature, which are used to softscape bridge, bonding the building, landscape and the users. All together they formed a bigger piece of forest, unifying and enriching the entire space of Park Block. Looking out from each building within the Park Block, people will see the combination of mountains, water and forest that give the feeling of living in nature.
Different combination among water features, berms and planting have mimicked different ecosystems in nature and be introduced into the project. The triangular islands of green plants connect the hardscape and the water elements. The entire picturesque landscape is harmonious.
The landscape in Park Block can be divided into three major zones—Public & Recreation Zone, Forest Zone, and Kids & Sub Entrance Zone.
Public & Recreation Zone(constructed)
The Public & Recreation Zone is the first phase of project that has already been constructed. It is public welcoming plaza in front of the gallery and café. Passing through the weaving water and planting areas, people will enter a broader piece of water feature. The unique triangular architecture is reflected on the water, contrasting with the organic form of the tree canopies silhouette. The café has simple and clean European style outdoor seating area, overlooking at the tranquil reflection and green islands in the water. In order to connect the indoor and outdoor space seamlessly, we have carefully studied the design language of the signature sales office/ café building. Seeing that a feature tree has been planted indoor at the center of the glass building, we have planted feature trees outdoor in the water feature correspondingly to link up the design between architecture and landscape.
This zone features with a larger triangular pond and layers of triangular berms. The trees of Zelkova serrata, which changes in colors throughout the year to intensify the sense of seasonal changes, interweave with the undulating landscape, forming simple yet pleasant scenery. In the future when the entire project is completed, people will pass by a book store and café (the sales gallery building) along their way to home. They could enjoy a peaceful landscape with the delightful sounds of water flow and children playing. It is a tranquil place among the mountains, water and forest, setting people away from the hectic urban life outside.
Forest Zone(planning stage)
The Forest Zone has a denser plantation to create the atmosphere of forest landscape. Mixtures of evergreen and deciduous native and wild flowers will be planted to create unique ecosystem under the urban setting. Since the Forest Zone is located at the middle of the site, people will not discover the Forest Zone until they walk into the site. Therefore, the Forest Zone is akin to a hidden landscape feature, awaiting discovery by visitors. However, residents will have the chance to enjoy the lush green forest when viewing from the condominium above.
Along the Forest Zone has some covered walkways to guide the circulation. The covered walkway has the layout as the branches of a forest tree and the cover is meticulously designed with the triangular pattern to echo with the overall concept. In addition, at the north eastern corner of the Forest Zone will be the signature triangular forest pavilion hidden inside the forest, where people can have some rest and enjoy the forest scenery.
Kids & Sub Entrance Zone(planning stage)
Towards the southern side of the site is the Kids & Sub Entrance Zone, where a kindergarten locates. The design idea is to let the atmosphere of the Forest Zone sprawl into this area, in order to create a comfortable environment for this zone. Red and warm color tone has been used in this zone to symbolize the energetic atmosphere of children, while all elements, such as paving, seating, and play equipment are designed in triangular form to reach consistency with the overall design concept. Colorful running lane and a running bridge have been provided within the kindergarten to encourage outdoor exercise. Moreover, planting scheme in this zone will be colorful with flowering species to brighten up the playful atmosphere of the landscape.
Park Block demonstrates a flexible modern living space, where quality urban life is blended with a pleasant mixture of garden and landscape. Landscape becomes part of their daily life, providing highly accessible facilities and privacy for the residents.
Mountain, water and forest are the origin of living that brings the peace to everyone’s heart. The concept of introducing natural elements into the project has been fully understood and applied. And more importantly, the high quality of livable landscape for urban living in this project will link the present with the past, by reconnecting human with nature.