A project by Alejandro Aravena where he created space for children on the contours of Santiago which was one of his heart-winning projects, made in 2012.

Alejandro with his work has clarified that he works for more than just a display of art, he works for deeper reasons like helping people, to better the living conditions of the country, and to provide a sustainable architecture in the times of environmental crisis.

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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©inhabitat.com/
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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©inhabitat.com/

We will be going through the project of Alejandro Aravena which is four hectares in size with an interactive landscape built on the hillside. The only place left is an old agricultural canal running at the base of the Metropolitan Park, the San Cristobal. The park includes sculptures, jungle gyms, and long walking paths. The park was built as part of a program to celebrate Chile’s bicentennial.

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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/
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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/

With contours being a limiting aspect of the project were taken to the advantage by creating such games, slides, and swings that complimented the landscape and made it rather adventurous for children. Though, like everything that exists has two faces, with this came the controversy of the safety of little children, which was tackled by installing various safety equipment(s). 

Children’s park became the place for Chile to revivify the space on the map of Santiago. Bicenntial Children’s Park has carved into space through the city which progressed for pedestrian promenade. Now, it is surrounded by other public spaces such as Fantasilandia, Quintal Normal Park, Bicentenario Park, and Parque Tupahue. 

Now, being the first such project, it progressed and now serves as the landmark and central feature to other such projects. 

With every such public place, it also increases the revenue of places, benefiting the localities, government, and offering employment to more people.

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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/
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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/
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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/
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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/

Chile has progressed during the past decade, though they’ve made a remarkable growth in construction and architecture, the urban planning still lacked putting in front the interest of civilians of Chile. The riverfronts were not developed, being used as transport bridges. The only place vacant for the development of a pedestrian-friendly urban place was an uneven old agricultural field. 

The elements such as sculptures, jungle gyms, and large walking parks. The park was to appreciate Chile’s Bicentennial. Furthermore, the perimeter fence of the park is a play area of 310m. The hillside slope allowed us to reach enough height to make them fun, without being a threat to children’s safety. 

It had different elements for children to play around, which emphasized not only planning but also on the more important aspects such as the product design that could be adjusted. It introduced the facet of hill architecture while developing a cafe on contours. Being a pedestrian-friendly space, it gained popularity soon and became a source for rejuvenation for the public. 

Now, looking at the plan, it can be seen that it had scattered planning yet curving spaces that made the experience wholesome for the families. It includes facilities such as cafeteria, public toilets, and urban sitting spaces. 

Complementing the architecture of Chile, Wood, Steel, and Reinforced concrete were mainly used in construction.

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Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/
Bicentennial Children’s Park by Alejandro Aravena: Beginning of Independence - Sheet10
Bicentennial Children’s Park ©www.archdaily.com/

In a few pictures, it can be observed that there are various elements to attract children, such as wooden platforms with pier support, An O.A.T for magic shows and performances, and an aesthetically pleasing landscape with the aqua-features. 

The plan is predominantly made into a natural O.A.T with landscape enhancing the contours with flights at a different level and plain land acting as the landing to the flight. It becomes even better, with the view of the city from the top. 

On such a height with the greenery and joyful energy around the place, it must have woven into a beautiful spot for sitting through the sunset and enjoying the calm yet cheerful vibe the place has to offer. 

Bicentennial Children’s Park is also one of the projects by Alejandro Anavera which showcases his skills in Urban Planning and execution with such a space of Urban Planning. It is a ten-kilometer horizontal, continuous path that could be transformed into a pedestrian Promenade. 

Showcasing his skills eventually has made a better impact on the urban design, given it a ‘breathing space’ amongst the hustle-bustle of the city. Besides that, it offers a free space for children to move around and for adults to break the monotony from their regular schedule. 

As it is said that Architecture develops society, it just says that people are becoming aware not just of the buildings but also about the pause spaces that fill the elements of Urban Design that is important for the civilians.

Author

Ayushi is an architect and an enthusiastic reader and writer. She aspires to step a foot into the world of connecting architecture with writing, initiating with small steps. As said, there is no correct way to follow the dreams, she believes in the process and hustle throughout the journey.

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