Parc de la Distance is a finger print-shaped park designed to escape the city in the middle of the city.
Although the main motivation of the Austria-based architecture studio Precht to create Parc de la Distance was to allow people to be outdoors while practising social distancing, the park is also supposed to be used to escape the city noise and bustle.
Chris Precht, the founder of the studio, came up with the idea after various public spaces around the world have closed because of COVID-19. Made up of 600-meter long paths arranged in a swirl pattern, the design responds then to what a park would like and how it would function if social distancing was a design guideline. Yet, again, the designer didn’t have only the current crisis in mind as he also focuses on the future with a calm oasis in the middle of the city.
“Instead of banks, traffic and office blocks, city centres should be redesigned by parks, wilderness and plants. The lack of nature is an issue of many urban areas, and I hope that the Parc de la Distance can offer an escape”Chris Precht, designer
The park would have numerous paths divided by hedges arranged in a finger print-shaped swirl pattern guiding the visitors from the edge of the park to the centre with fountains. Precht was inspired both by the French baroque gardens with a strong order of plants and the Japanese Zen-gardens with circular movements and raking of gravels that centre around cornerstones.
Precht also believes that after the pandemic, people will appreciate more the outdoor spaces and will seek “escapism from the bustle of cities more than before.” He says that cities should be defined by possibilities that allow their residents to escape to nature and to be alone in public at the same time.