How to get around the monofunctional use of a city car park? By combining it with an attractive public space. This is exactly what the Danes managed to do with Park’n’Play in Nordhavn.
A car park is part of the usual landscape of a city. However, the collective Jaja Architects, from Copenhagen, has succeeded in giving it more purpose. The starting point was a fairly classic, traditional square structure, which was planned to get a vegetal facade right from the outset. Another idea was added: that of encouraging the residents of the neighbourhood to use the roof of this parking lot.
In collaboration with a design studio, the designers did the opposite of what is usually done: instead of trying to hide the car park, they highlighted it, using metal to adorn the facade. A rather elegant system of planters has been built into the vertical façade, the whole being crossed by two public stairs, which lead to the flat roof. Throughout the ascent, a fresco tells the story of Nordhavn and the city.
Just grab the red ramp and follow the story. The ramp runs first along the stairs, then takes visitors by the hand and encourages them, once at the top, to walk through a huge playground: swings, ball pools, trampolines, gymnastics courses for young and old… Not to mention a breathtaking view of the entire port of the Danish capital and the “red district”, which owes its nickname to the abundance of red-coloured buildings.
The philosophy of the creators of Park’n’Play can be summarised as follows: to return to the city part of the space it occupies. Mission accomplished.