The Pool, By Nippaysage, Emile Gamelin Plaza, Montreal, Canada Illusion and whimsy combine to create a cool, blue oasis in Montreal’s Emilie Gamelin Plaza in the center of the city. Architect Nippaysage has used paint and geometric designs to give a rectangular slab of hardscape the optical shimmering feel of a real swimming pool. Draw closer, and you will see that the pool is a place to play: Hopscotch grids, chessboards and giant tangram puzzle pieces invite users to take a break from their busy urban lives.The Draw of Water in the Landscape Humans and water are inextricably linked. In the landscape wherever you find water you will find human settlement. In designed landscapes users are similarly drawn to water. In their design for Emilie Gamelin Plaza, Nippaysage has used the blue painted surface of the hardscape to conceptually represent water, evoking many of the same psychological responses of cooling and exciting that are associated with real water. How to Conceptually Represent Water Nippaysage’s design is filled with paintings and furniture that suspend disbelief and give the illusion that a real pool has been nestled into the plaza. A diving board bench extends over the edge of the blue painted surface, evoking a sense of summer fun. The conceptual pool design is further reinforced by painted ridges and grooves mimicking waves and splashes of water. At the human scale, the macro scale water theme is juxtaposed by a prescribed program of games. The whimsical touch of oversized chess pieces and hopscotch courts only adds to the fun, even though they wouldn’t normally be found in the water.
The Dry Pool Design that Recreates the Fun of Being at the Pool
These installations within the pool design provide everyday fun, but also attract interest during festivals and special events held in the plaza, including the summer park program organized by Le partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles, the project’s client. The primary concept of the pool design was to create the illusion of an actual swimming pool, which has been achieved by varying the tints of blue to trick the human retina into seeing the shimmers it would expect to see in a real pool. The cerulean colors were chosen not only for the purpose of depicting a pool, but also because the color blue is often conceptually associated with depth and stability, symbolizing trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and communication. The last of which is the most important, because the pool design is intended to bring people together in a place where they can interact and have fun.Related Articles:
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Would you like to play chess with the Kings and the Queens or play tangram with squares and triangles? Here in Emilie Gamelin, you can do both. The pool welcomes you with its playful furniture and the sense that you are surrounded by cool, blue water on a hot summer day.Recommended reading:
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