The Crossboundaries studio team designed the Songzhuang Micro Community Parkas an “assembly of urban rooms”, thus transforming this deserted public space into a lively place for intergenerational encounters. The parkhas been designed to adapt to the site environment through an appropriate choice of materials and plantations in harmony with the spatial configuration. The inclusive design of the micro-park is driven by the variety of atmospheres which encourage interactions between different age groups.

A wall of perforated gray brick with integrated seating alternates with a lower double layer of perforated Corten steel. Behind the wall is a green area planted with southern Chinese pines and low vegetation, forming a natural buffer between the park and the adjacent parking area. This L-shaped pitch features a series of outdoor areas that offer endless possibilities of use. A yellow marking on the ground creates a visual link between the different  spaces of the place. It walks throughout the park taking walkers from “room to room”.

The first “urban room” transforms the initial street corner into a small semi-circular square, defined by angular brick walls and large mirror surfaces. In the morning, the place welcomes tai chi lovers and in the evening, rhythmic dance groups.

The second “room” is suitable for quieter activities with its benches along the walls, welcoming chess players, groups of seniors or grandparents and their grandchildren. The third “room” is devoted to children’s games with different sized openings for hide-and-seek games, big tubes for singing or calling each other, resting places for parents and grandparents. In the central rectangle of the park, the fourth “room” becomes an outdoor gym, an exercise space in the middle of lush green meadows with its sports equipment and circular seats.

“The community park has been a great success in combining the district government program and its investment plans with a way of life that strengthens its own heritage as a place of collective art and influence,” said Dong Hao, co-founder by Crossboundaries. In addition, Songzhuang MicroCommunity Park is helping to develop the largest artists’ gathering place in China in a symbiotic relationship with the local community.

Photo credit: Yu Bai and Chaoying Yang

Architects: Crossboundaries