Urban-open is a proposal submitted for a competition involving the redesign of a community park in Chicago. Community based parks are widespread throughout the city and constitute an important element in many neighbourhoods. The present usage of the project site is limited somewhat and we attempted to expand its appeal and develop it as a place in which people may communicate openly.
The site is currently an underutilised community garden. It is predominately the elderly among the local population which make use of it with most residents having little interaction. The low budget for the project was seen as an opportunity to involve a greater cross section of the neighbourhood from the initial construction phase onwards. The system is one whereby individual parts of the design are completed over time, the project being undertaken as funding, time and personnel are organized.
The central theme to the park is the ‘green wall’. This is built by hand, the construction mixing various found materials with a core of waste and building by-products. The new wall is designed to connect people with each other and natural environment rather than divide. One of the primary aims of the competition was to ensure that the various required functions meshed together to provide a cohesive and inviting facility. A greenhouse, wall plantings, water recycling system, storeroom, gallery and future building foundation were all integrated in the design and will gradually be realized over the years. Ultimately, the relationship between the natural environment, construction and people is brought into focus through the realisation of all elements.




kaori ichikawa