RESEARCH – OPFIKERPARK

Architect: Büro Kiefer

Year realisation: 2006

Size: 128.000 sqm

Location: Opfikon, Switzerland

Elements: lake, promenade, greenery and sport facilities

Materials: water, sand, concrete, gravel, grass

This park is part of a new big housing project in Opfikon, a suburb of Zürich. This massive new neighbourhood is partly still under construction. The park although is finished since 2006.

Water is the most important element in this design. Along the waterside there are walking ways. Bridges connecting the walking ways with each other. The park lies in a 90 degrees angle to the buildings and forms a kind of boarder of this new neighbourhood. A big grass landscape on the opposite side of the water provides a lot of open space.

It is an almost monumental design. It is in a way unmanageable to get in to this park. The promenade along the water is pure a way to get from point A to B, without any points to walk to. The grass field misses every direction of function or possibilities in a way how to use the space. It is just one big open space. Because the housing blocks and the park have the same rectangular shape you do don’t have the feeling to be out of the neighbourhood. Although you can swim in the water, it isn’t very inviting to take a dive. The big grass fields look nice is just an empty open space. There are hardly no trees. I think it is a missed opportunity to integrate a public outdoor space way more in the design of the neighbourhood, they should melt together. Or on the other hand to create a contrast between the living space, the houses and leisure space like the park. I experienced this park not a positive outdoor space.

Patterns:

71 Still water – the water basin with a length of 550m is the central element in this design, I don’t think used in a right way.

125 Stair seats – along the promenade there are some stairs witch are used as seats.

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