Ball Pits and Floating Trampoline in DROR’s Masterplan of Parkorman Forest in Istanbul:
New York-based studio DROR is working on quite unconventional plans for a park in the Parkorman forest of Istanbul, Turkey. The plans were triggered by the need to attract visitors to the park which will be located on a site, 6 miles away from the city center. The designers dedicated their thoughts to figuring out a way to make this relatively remote place, in the heart of nature, a popular attraction. “We 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,” said DROR. “We 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.”
Accordingly, the designers came up with their intriguing idea of turning the park into a field for explorations and fun activities, where a visitor would get to decide their own course of movement instead of being restricted to the designer’s plan. “Our masterplan for Parkorman is a web of possibilities; a living system of places for visitors to explore,” explained DROR. “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.”
The park is divided into five main zones holding various activities and characters, to arouse the visitors’ curiosity and desire for exploration. The first zone, “The Plaza”, by the entrance, is the visitor’s gateway to nature “as a place for collective experience and gathering.” Then, there is “The Loop”, where swings and hammocks hang above the bed of the forest and “The Pool” with the giant ball pits, inspired by the colorful Turkish Spice Market. Visitors can dive into the Pool’s ball pits, or they can hop their way up to the top of the forest in “The Chords” which holds one of the park’s most genuine attractions. There is this long twisting ramp, flying between and around the trees of the forest, to end up with a giant trampoline, within the perimeter of a round loop at the far top. Finally, there is “The Grove” which contains landscape-inspired sculptures and a cube-shaped fountain with falling water on its four sides.
The designers believe that the playful experience, which will result from the sum of all of these animating activities, shall develop an ‘intimate” relationship between the public and the natural landscape. They think it will introduce nature as an integrated part of the city.