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Red Ribbon Park by Turenscape: Painting the Ecosystem RED and Rocking it!

Posted by
on August 06, 2019 at 01:21 PM

© Courtesy of internet resources

Why should green monopolise the colour-scape of sustainable and eco-conservationist design? Does Nature not operate with a various and vibrant palette of colours besides green? Well, the Red Ribbon Park, the design for the ecological conservation of Qinhuangdao park in Hebei. China seems to take cognisance of this aspect which is often overlooked in our eagerness to reverentially blend in with the natural endowments of a site. A magnificently simple and minimally interventional solution created by Turenscape to revive, preserve and nurture a riverside ecosystem, the Red Ribbon Park is at once heart-warming and eye-catching.

A sinuous band of vivid red that ribbons its way through the stretch of vegetation along the river, ducking under the foliage of trees and winding around tall grasses and placid pools, but never lost out of the sight of park visitors The ‘Red Ribbon’ functions as a tool for directionality, walking, seating, lighting, facilitating safe and clean human- to- nature interactions,  perking up the park with its vivid visual quality even while helping to conserve its complex ecosystem.

© Courtesy of internet resources

Qinhuangdao Park is reported to have been a stretch of naturally occurring riverside ecosystem with various types of vegetation and other life forms thriving in it. Being located at the edge of the Chinese city of Hebei had made it a wasteland susceptible to irreverent dumping even while being a green bank of the Tanghe river attractive for excursions. With a view to make this green stretch cleaner and safer for human use as well as to conserve its natural character, Landscape designers Turenscape were approached by the authorities to design the solution for the purpose. The solution, in true Turenscape style, was minimal in its manifestation but enormous in its impact.

© Courtesy of internet resources

The solution is a single structure – the Red Ribbon – a long, winding ‘box’ or ‘tube’ of rectangular section made of red fibreglass spanning 500 m of the park’s length. The boardwalk that is attached alongside its entire length enables a safe, clean and unintrusive walk through the entire length of the park. At two feet high, this Ribbon offers an ideal seating/ lounging space on its top surface, the width of which varies between 30 to 150 cms through its length. It offers a cheerful directional trail to follow and a smooth path to trek through while exploring the variety of flora and fauna along the way.

© Courtesy of internet resources

The same fibreglass ribbon gets lit up from the inside as darkness descends, forming a glowing red pathway meandering through the park’s nocturnal life. Circular perforations are made in the top surface of the ribbon, some of which are fitted with lights that cheerily dot the red trail while some others are planters with grasses growing in them. Five cloud-shaped white space-frames supported on white poles placed at points along the way act as pavilions that offer seating and shaded gathering spaces while also facilitating the display of informative literature regarding the park’s ecosystem.

© Courtesy of internet resources

While the diverse forms of vegetation in the park have been painstakingly preserved through this minimal intervention urbanisation process, attempts have also been made to add to the variety. The intermittent open fields occurring in between the thickets of dense vegetation were previously exposed to garbage dumping and encroachment by slums. These have now been planted with white, yellow, purple and blue perennial flower gardens which add to the botanical variety as well as to the colour palette of this vibrant park.

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

A simple length of ribbon effectively organises the formerly messy pocket of wild growth along a river’s edge, converting the hostile wasteland into a friendly opportunity for leisure and exploration. The modernist ideals of minimal and functional – ‘less is more’ – seem to have come alive in this sinuous structure of a trail not despite its vibrant red colour but rather because of it! This just makes us reflect on the parameters of judging good landscape design – it need not always ‘blend in’ visually into the landscape in order to be good. Sometimes, standing out boldly to catch every eye may be even better!! Come rain, snow or sun... the Red Ribbon keeps shining through....

© Courtesy of internet resources

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