Parc de la Villette, Paris

Architect: Bernard Tschumi

Parc de la Villette was built as part of a larger urban redevelopment of a slaughterhouse and whole sale meat market. The park houses one of the largest concentrations of cultural institutions in Paris.

The park itself was honestly one of the most unreadable I’ve been to, which, apparently, is the entire point. It was sort of like a collage of a park, out of scale and with random features popping up throughout. Of the famous red follies, only a few had any real programming (one being a fast-food burger restaurant) or were even accessible. I didn’t appreciate this design that puts architectural expression before people, and wasn’t surprised to find it on Project for Public Spaces Hall of Shame.

 

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My experience of the bamboo forest would have been better had I not  “walked in” on what I could most politely call a couple of park patrons’ “afternoon delight”… Not the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in a public park, that is for sure. I was already nervous being in Paris by myself, maybe wandering through tight paths within dense foliage wasn’t the best activity for me that day… In a seminar in college we discussed how Mystery is an important aspect of design, to heighten the sense of exploration and create curiosity for what comes next, but it really should be done in moderation. Time to think about Designing for Saftey in Public Parks

DSCN2596The Geode at the Science Museum

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