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Pop Zoo
Chengdu, China

Team

Bob Hale
Mark Motonaga
Fangfang Ouyang
Mike Cheng
Russell Dykann
Julien Harcc
Brook Woosley

Categories

Awards
Graphics
Ideas
Landscape
Planning
POP ZOO seeks to teach about endangered animals through play. Using the animals as a ‘conceptual bridge’ between our design firm and our clients, the project embeds itself into the fabric of Chinese culture by using the shared familiarity of animals as a catalyst to create landscapes for learning about local ecology and animal biology. The project is a network of twenty small playground parks and one central park within a regional greenway. The network begins with “Creature Canyon” the 20-acre regional park, and then extends out into the surrounding city with playground parks ranging in size from 1,200 SF to 1 acre.

“Creature Canyon” will incorporate seven eco-system inspired gardens with twenty unique activity programs. The park takes advantage of the existing topography to locate the various gardens while introducing three new topographic features including a mountain, plateau, and lake.
The seven gardens include the highland forest, broadleaf forest, plateau, river, wetland, lake, and clouds. The twenty activity programs are based on the animal habits and are distributed into the seven gardens to drive the development of hyper-abstract garden spaces that highlight the animal’s overlapping territories.

The twenty playground parks are shaped in a circular form to highlight and brand them as part of a larger network. Each park includes a playground, seating area, game tables, exercise space, and planting based on its theme animal. The playground equipment is designed so that play mimics the theme animal’s physical habits and movements in their native environment. Custom lighting, benches, and bike racks will be integrated at each park to visually connect the whole network within the greenway. Signage and exhibits will be posted that explain the animal and habitat to visitors.
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