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How to Make an Unnatural Space Feel Like a Natural Park

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Parc du Mont Evrin (Mont Evrin Park) in France, designed by Urbicus. Designing a rural landscape can be a hard task. How does one purposefully design a vast area and make it look like it has always been there? How does one create a space that doesn’t make visitors feel like all of their movements are anticipated? Parc du Mont Evrin (Mont Evrin Park) in France, designed by Urbicus, might be the perfect example of how to make the unnatural feel natural. What made the task for Urbicus a little easier was the fact that the designers started with land that was formerly agricultural. Since the landscape had been natural for a long time, it was only fitting to restore the countryside environment while renewing the neighborhood. The park’s rural environment features prairies, hedgerows, small woods, and a vast wetland that creates a storm-water basin. The landscape remains flexible and could almost become wilder over time.

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

How does this natural park serve the community?

  The project covers more than 20 hectares and acts as a backbone to what will be the new district of Mont Evrin. The park covers a linear distance of about two kilometers — with this amount of space, the park is bound to become the heart and soul of the community. The ecological corridor will link the nearby prime locations of Parc des Frênes and the rue des Gasset. From woodlands to prairies, the provision of a range of environments will serve the interest of those from all walks of life. Simple and pleasant tracks to be used as pathways and seating areas among the landscape environments provide good opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

The contribution a park makes to its community is only as great as the community’s willingness to use it. A variety of factors — from safety issues to design elements — can make a park incompatible with visitors’ needs, resulting in a space that becomes undervalued and scarcely used.
Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Landscape-architecture – Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Let us not be carried away by the rural, quiet nature of the design, as the park will be enlivened by the inhabitants of many bordering homes, as well as families and children going to existing or planned schools and office workers in the business premises on the eastern side of the park. It looks like the demand for a blissful escape into nature is already there.
Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

What makes this natural park a future success? Parks can play an important role in the landscape. Beyond typical recreational uses, parks offer people a refuge from day-to-day life, a place where they can relax and get away, socialize, and be in contact with nature. At the same time, parks can be the focal point of their surrounding community. Related Articles:

Mont Evrin Park is a thread that connects the rural environment and its simplistic nature with today’s fast-paced urban lifestyle. There is no doubt that this is a clean-cut project. Master-planning a park of this size with these functions could not have been an easy thing to do. Careful arrangements of the many vegetation types, the pathways, the “randomly” arranged seating that are all to be explored and discovered makes one big hide-and-seek game for the designers and users. Hence, it is probably harder to create a design that seems effortless than to create one that screams for attention.

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Landscape-architecture, Natural Park - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Landscape-architecture – Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Of course, designing a rural landscape has to fit within the context of the surroundings. But who is to say we can’t have many more parks like Mont Evrin in bigger and busier cities? As our clocks run faster and our schedules are stuffed with the demands of everyday life, we need more places like this that will make us slow down and realize that simplicity can be just as exciting as climbing toward bigger mountains! Recommended Reading:

Article written by Win Phyo Return to Homepage

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