Communal yet intimate micro gardens provide diverse, playful and non-prescriptive areas for dwelling.
The pandemic emphasized benefits and challenges pertaining to urban green spaces.
Especially in times of isolation and confinement, they offer safe and communal outdoor spaces and contribute to our physical and mental well-being. They stimulate our senses and enable non-prescriptive modes of dwelling, radically differing from what we can experience throughout the rest of the city.
Urban green spaces are a valuable and limited resource and directly affect real estate prices in their proximity. As cities grow and become denser, parks and gardens become more exclusive. During lockdowns this condition was amplified as parks and gardens became solely available to those living within their vicinity. How can we increase green spaces in areas that have already been built? How can we make them more accessible to all? What novel experiences can emerge when integrating them in the existing streetscape? Cylinders of various sizes intersect to form clusters containing a combination of planters and areas for dwelling. Trees provide shading and plants separating one dwelling area from the next. Islands possess a diverse, playful and non-prescriptive range of conditions for people to inhabit. Some areas might be suitable for individuals, while others cater to small groups. They provide a place to reconnect with colleagues during a lunch break, to sunbath with a friend we haven’t seen for months, to meditate, or to take a moment alone as the world returns to a faster pace. Islands consist of thousands of timber planks cut to different lengths. Each island is made from multiple prefabricated segments which are assembled on site. Segments consist of a CNC’ed base with attached steel rods, allowing planks to be fitted. The current budget allows to build a single island. However, efforts will be made to obtain funding/sponsorship for the construction of additional islands. The broader implications of the project are far reaching. If implemented in large numbers, micro-gardens will have a cumulative effect. They will improve air quality, increase biodiversity, and even cool our warming cities. Weaving fragments of nature into existing city fabrics can significantly improve the quality of life for city residents, helping us heal from this pandemic and begin to address the environmental and ecological challenges ahead.