“In my work, story informs design, and sometimes a built project is later turned into a story. Fiction to non-fiction and back again.” –Alan Maskin, Design Principal
The Zooraji Rooftop Garden in Daegu, South Korea, is the third in a series of roofscapes that Design Principal Alan Maskin has created in the country. Zooraji explores aspects of scale and storytelling through an interactive set of outdoor experiences. Located on the 9th floor of a shopping and transit center, the rooftop park is an urban oasis with unusual and engaging spaces for visitors to explore.
Inspired by the Aesop fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” Maskin designed the park to be an immersive fantasy world that blurs the boundaries demarcating architecture, exhibits, landscape and narrative. Throughout, a skewed sense of scale makes young visitors feel like the mice in the Aesop tale as they play in and among oversized animal sculptures, towering treehouses, interactive water features and live baobab trees. Many of the animals are handcrafted from re-purposed and found objects such as wine casks and car parts. Reality and fantasy become blurred in the active outdoor play space, with live shrubs, bushes and climbing plants interspersed with artificial climbing boulders, fiber-reinforced plastic fungi and steel-and-bamboo treehouses, transforming the rooftop into an allegorical playland.
“At Zooraji, the plants are supposed to grow over time, so the architecture will disappear. Landscape has its own timetable.” –Alan Maskin, Design Principal
Project Team: Alan Maskin, Design Principal; Marlene Chen, AIA, LEED® AP, Principal / Project Manager; Laura Bartunek and Jerome Tryon, Project Architect / Design Collaborator
Key Consultants: SAMWON Space & Design, Associate Architect; Shinsegae Engineering & Construction, General Contractor; Dan Hinkley, Plantsman; BE-OH, Landscape Design
Photographer: Alan Maskin / Olson Kundig, Austin Wilson