Excerpt: Motera Park is designed by the architectural firm I-CON Architects and Planners. Located at the crucial junction of two major traffic arteries in the area, the park acts as a ‘pause point’ for community life to flourish. It is a neighborhood park that serves as the green lung of the vicinity and is genuinely public. At the end of the daily nine to five grind, every single one of us needs a time-out, a breather. Urban Parks do just that to the hustling city life and the ever-growing built jungle – giving it a ‘Break.’
[Text as submitted by Architect] Imagine walking in a park along a path lined with beautiful flowering trees of Tabebuia Rosea and Palm. A few flowers and leaves from the shading canopies and a few more continue to fall as you wave to your mother, who is exercising with her fitness group. You sit on a bench or probably find your place on the leveled-up landscape that gives you a good view of the bustling street. Or perhaps you are here to have a good chat with a friend while watching the sunset. While you see little kids running around and some others doing their daily laughing exercise, you realize how important it is to have such places in the city. One such place is the Triangular Park in Motera, Ahmedabad.
Located at the crucial junction of two major traffic arteries in the area, the park acts as a ‘pause point’ for community life to flourish. It is a neighborhood park that serves as the green lung of the vicinity and is genuinely public. It was initiated by AUDA (Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority) in collaboration with AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) and various other agencies to enhance the city’s image as a part of developing the prime locations between the Sardar Patel International Airport and Motera Stadium. At the end of the daily nine to five grind, every single one of us needs a time-out, a breather. Urban Parks do just that to the hustling city life and the ever-growing built jungle – giving it a ‘Break.’ The 2200 square meter site of Triangular Park has transformed the neighborhood and added a moment of sigh to the city whirl.
As rightly perceived, ‘Design is a process and not a product. Two significant challenges that the Design needed to address were that the period for Design and execution had to be limited to 15 days despite the site area of merely 2200 sq meters. The urban park had to make a statement. The challenges became the driving force behind the concept. The process was filled with rigour, creativity and excitement to create a minimalist yet bold outcome. The project is a witness to the exceptional project and resource management capacity of the agencies involved. The urban intervention addressed everything from landscaping and hardscaping to lighting, sculpture design, and installations while being sensitive to the park’s urban context and public nature.
The main feature of The Triangular Park is the play of landscape, and it is interesting to see how one design element drives the activities as well as the visual appeal of the site. The site’s triangular nature and the mound gradually reach its pinnacle towards the tip of the triangle, thus creating a natural barrier between the road and the inner edge. The two longer sides of the site that run parallel to the adjacent roads are disguised as two arms of the mound that wholeheartedly embrace the people of the park.
The tactfully crafted mound of earth, along with the palm trees and bounteous canopies of Tabebuia Rosea, make it difficult for pedestrians and motor traffic to pass without noticing the park, leaving a lasting impact. Adding the greens not just improved the overall air quality and landscape of the neighborhood but also aided social cohesion. The more minor elements such as sculptures, benches under the trees, lighting designed to activate the park in the later part of the day, and paved pathways also come together to amplify the people-centric approach of the Design. Another prominent feature that creates a unique design experience is that the mound gives the park a dual identity. Sitting on the outer edge of the mound, one can overlook and engage in city life.
In contrast, the inner edge calls out to those looking for solace, peace, and to indulge in nature. It is also notable that despite being at the junction of two major roads, the inner edge of the mound remains utterly disconnected from city life and acts as an everyday place for yoga classes, meditation, jogging, and several other morning routines. The park positively adds to the people’s quality of life and well-being.
It is often debated within the urban discourse if public spaces with restrictive boundaries can genuinely be regarded as ‘public.’ This park attempts to stay clear from any boundary walls or gates that disregard the park’s public nature. It is designed in the spirit of making it accessible for anyone and everyone. The welcoming and approachable experience of the space makes the Design sensitive toward the users while silently blending into the urban context. It is the only AUDA-initiated urban park in the city that has no marked boundaries and enjoys being so.
The Triangular Park generates an experiential relationship between the playful landscape and humdrum of city life. At the same time, you take a casual stroll and run into an old neighbor or lie on the green mound staring at the starry night at the end of a busy day.