Creating a link with nature

Nick Myall
21 Mar 2017

Dror are making a connection between people and nature in a city with no central park

Existing green spaces in Istanbul are few and far between. When considering the approach for a park located six miles north of the city centre, Studio Dror asked the question: ‘How do we draw strangers-to-nature to this destination?’

The architects set out to create a park that dissolves the anxiety and fear that often accompanies an unfamiliar environment through a network of conditions that fosters unconditional love. They imagined the most profound experience delivered through the lightest touch; an effort that preserves the lush forest and leaves every tree in place, as mandated by the city.

Our masterplan for Parkorman is a web of possibilities; a living system of places for visitors to explore. Instead of dictating one’s path through the park, visitors write their own experience. Numerous non-linear pathways, like calligraphy, weave through the existing woodland, surprising people with unexpected discoveries along their journey.

Five main zones, each with their own distinct qualities, are designed to provoke emotion. The Plaza, at the entrance of the park, presents nature as a place for collective experience and gathering. Interaction and play are encouraged through a series of interventions spread throughout: swings and hammocks sway above the bed of the forest (The Loop); giant ball pits, inspired by Turkish spice markets, invite people to dive in (The Pool); a footpath floats above the ground and twists around tree trunks into giant loops with trampolines at the centre (The Chords). The Grove, a maze-like trail pollinated with sculptures that relate to the landscape, spurs exploration, while The Fountain of Clarity, a cube-shaped frame that sends water down all four sides and opens via a hydraulic piston to envelop oncomers, prompts reflection.

Through the sum of these experiences, a more intimate relationship between landscape and being is forged, and nature is reintegrated into the city’s harsh urban lifestyle.

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