The designers of Utopia have designed an indoor park for Stockholm’s Sankt Eriksplan square, in a very densely populated area of the city, on top of a metro station. A completely ordinary park, including flowers and plants, but under a roof. The controlled indoor environment makes the park attractive as a place for activities that are currently difficult to accommodate during the cold and dark part of the year. The park building consists of a total of six linked ellipsoid-like volumes of varying sizes and shapes, made from wood and glass, making it light and elegant. It will be 23 meters tall, at a similar level than the adjacent buildings, and will have an area of about 1,500 square meters. According to the designers, the park shouldn’t be seen as a proposal for what can be done specifically at the site, but rather as the start of a wider discussion on how we can and should manage our existing, and future, public environments.
Meanwhile in similarly cold and dark Lahti, Finland, designers have come up with street furniture called Mokša. Designed to provide shelter and offering a brighter atmosphere to the dim city. The urban landmarks feature adjustable lighting that users can control with a push of a button. It’s a true example of public space design that is appropriate for and shaped by its environment and context.
A while back in Norway, a local artist put large mirrors on top of a mountain with the aim of redirecting sunlight down into the valley. The small town of Rjukan is squeezed in between two high mountains, shedding a shadow over the village for most of the year. The huge mirrors made sure the town square received some rays of sunlight, providing locals with some much-needed vitamin D. An interesting idea for public space design, to use as much sunlight as possible in places where there is almost none.