The pocket park

Procedure:
  • Parametric modeling: Rhinoceros Grasshopper
  • The shell was cut from high-density polystyrene using a water jet.

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Starting point

Urban areas which have fallen into disuse and been turned into green spaces are now known as “pocket parks”. One such park can be found on the F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG site in Kaiseraugst. However, as it is considerably larger than the average pocket park, the pharmaceutical company wouldn't have been satisfied with a few stray shrubs here and there. After all, we now know that a pleasant environment is at least as crucial to employee wellbeing as a competitive salary.

Challenges

Admittedly, modern tools for generative design allow all kinds of creativity to run free. However, in this project, we had to take a radical approach to the feasibility of construction from the outset. That's why it was important to get all those involved on board at an early stage. Performing the complex technological and design processes would, in fact, have been a waste of time if skilled hands had not ultimately treated every single element of this massive construction like a little work of art.

The very nature of a construction project means that it is expected to exist for a long time. This expectation led us to develop numerous insights that we can draw upon for similar projects in future.

Process

We arranged the plastering of the facility in such a way that skilfully placed surfaces created a vibrant pattern. This produces an optical illusion which gives the impression that the park is built on a surface that rises and falls. This design is arranged around the trees and gives the setting, which is otherwise mainly characterized by its flat ground, a touch of “regular irregularity”. Why would anyone still want to work in a city if they could do it in greener surroundings?