Studio Precht’s “Social Distancing Park” Ensures Everyone Keeps Their Distance

This park not only fosters social distancing but serenity, isolation, and a break from the bustle of the city.

Nathan Bahadursingh Nathan Bahadursingh

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Architecture firm Studio Precht have unveiled a design for a lush, maze-like park that is oriented to maintain social distancing, while allowing people to be outdoors. Called Parc de la Distance, the space is shaped like a large fingerprint, with a series of parallel hedges that swirl and guide visitors around the landscape.

Studio Precht’s cofounder Chris Precht is a juror for the 8th Annual A+Awards, which is inviting creative conceptual projects like this for its Unbuilt Categories through May 8th, 2020. Make sure your firm registers and submits its best concepts for a shot at global recognition and exposure throughout this year and beyond:

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Parc de la Distance was designed in response to the widespread closing of outdoor, public spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple of questions guided the firm’s approach. Chris Precht told Dezeen: “What would a park look like and how would it function if it takes the rules of social distancing as a design guideline? And what can we learn from a space like this that still has value after the pandemic?”

The park would have numerous routes divided by 90-centimeter-wide hedges in order to maintain a safe physical distance between visitors. The lanes themselves would be 240cm from each other. This would also allow people to inhabit the park simultaneously. 

The flooring of the paths consists of a red-granite gravel that contrasts the surrounding greenery. Each individual path would be around 600 meters long and circulate visitors from the edge of the park to the center and back around.

The core of the park would contain water fountains. Along the journey, the heights of the trees would vary, adding greater dimension and spontaneity to the park. Gates on the entrances and exits to each of the paths would indicate if a route is occupied.

“I see the origin of the design in French baroque gardens, a strong order of plants, hedges that create geometric shapes,” says Precht. “But there is also an inspiration drawn in Japanese Zen-gardens. Circular movements. Raking of gravels that center around corner stones.” 

Parc de la Distance has been proposed for a vacant plot in Vienna. And, though the park was specifically designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Precht believes it could be a beneficial space for cities even after the outbreak is contained. Brief solitude could offer reprieve to those wanting to escape the rapid pace of urban areas. 

Has your firm created an innovative conceptual project like this recently? Submit your work for a prestigious A+Award in the Unbuilt Categories for a shot at international publication and global recognition. The final entry deadline is May 8th, 2020.

All images via Dezeen

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