Norell/Rodhe was awarded 2nd Prize in the open international competition Lill-Valla Park in Linköping, Sweden. The park will be part of the upcoming housing expo Bo 2016.
The competition brief called for a redesign of the existing four-hectare Lill-Valla Park and its playgrounds. Instead of separating “nature”, infrastructure and playground equipment from each other, our project proposes to integrate them in playful and unexpected ways.
A dense web of new footpaths provide an overall cohesive identity for the park, while allowing for local variation and adaptation. Paved footpaths, trails and footbridges together tie the park together, from a formal, infrastructural as well as accessibility perspective. Their scale and level of detail is largely designed in response to existing and proposed landscape elements. A wider footpath could for instance be characterized by long, sweeping curvatures that gently embrace a thicket of trees. The same path may in a given moment suddenly branch off into a intricate web of narrow trails that delicately snake their way around tree trunks and boulders.
The existing scheme for the park essentially located all the playgrounds on the centrally located open meadow. Norell/Rodhe's project reinterprets these playgrounds as a series of environments that are integrated in the existing landscape all around the park. Each place for play is designed so that its scale, materiality and sensibility amplifies and subtly alters the character of existing landscape elements. Many of these environments emerge out of the play between trails and equipment for play. Part of the forest grove is experienced from narrow wooden footbridges that lead the visitor to a vast rope castle, whose tensile structure relate to the tall proportions of the trees. Another corner of the park features a delta of footpaths that flow around existing humps in the landscape - a place for climbing and hide and seek.
Overall, the project balances the geometric precision of designed landscape elements with more dynamic processes that rely on the shifting nature of plant-life and materials. It explores biological matter as a means to create strange experiences that simultaneously seem to belong in contemporary culture and traditional folklore.