Talca's Red Umbrella Cityscape

A temporary shelter of red Umbrella’s has been constructed in the centre of Talca, Chile. The project is done by students Jaime Latorre and Pablo Retamal of the 5th Year Architecture Workshop under the guidance of Professor Juan Román at the University of Talca’s School of Architecture. They created a landscape of 400 red umbrella’s that were suspended over the new pedestrian mall in the city of Talca, making a visual impression of the inhabitants of a city in which it is uncommon to see daring displays in public spaces.

Somehow the projects reminds me of the great landscaping and art project by Christo. From 1975 to 1985, Christo planted a huge range of  1760 blue umbrellas in Japan and 1340 yellow ones in a Californian landscape. The project, which had a the total budget of  26 million dollars, didn’t have any functional reason not even to provide a stepping stone shelter, but rather was just done to make people think differently about landscapes by adding a new layer of experience to it. Anyway, the visual effect of the Red Umbrella Project is huge, inspiring and remarkable as well, although the budget might have been a little less.

I’m fascinated by this new landscaping approach that might have started out with the Christo project. Leisure has become a more integrated part of our landscapes. The discipline of landscaping therefore has changed focus last twenty years. It has become more than just a green deal. Landscaping is not only about trees, biking paths and ecology any more, but has become relevant in terms of  creating experiences. Modern people want their daily environment to be inspiring. Last years the discipline of landscaping looks to be increasingly succesful in applying inspirational concepts to our cities and they have surely beaten the urbanists on that. As a consequence, landscapers have gained position in urban development. The Red Umbrella project stresses this landscaper’s influence. Click here to read more about the Red Umbrella project.