A group of designers from Austria have drawn inspiration from the practice of social distancing and designed a park that lets people enjoy nature while keeping a safe distance from each other.
In the city of Vienna, a number of well-known parks like Schönbrunn and Belvedere have been forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left citizens with little to no room to get fresh air or exercise. This got one design firm thinking about what a park designed for social distancing would look like in real life, and the results are quite remarkable.
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Studio Precht came up with the design, called ‘Parc de la Distance’ for a vacant plot in Vienna which they hope will be transformed into a park that would incorporate the rules of social distancing. The design incorporates a maze-like pattern inspired by the human finger print. Designers say it’s a nod to the thing we’re all missing most in today’s uncertain climate, the human touch.
According to Chris Precht, one of the designers of the park “Like a fingerprint, parallel lanes guide visitors through the undulating landscape. Every lane has a gateway on the entrance and exit, which indicates if the path is occupied or free to stroll. The lanes are distanced 240cm from each other and have a 90cm wide hedge as a division.”
The idea is to have visitors walk along gravel pathways, with hedges separating the different sections. Unlike the conventional mazes that are designed to isolate you, Parc de la Distance will incorporate tiny pebbles into its pathways to allow visitors to hear their neighbor’s footsteps as not to feel too isolated.
Studio Precht says the paths follow the wavy patterns of a Japanese zen-garden towards a centre with fountains. From there, visitors continue to circulate outwards.
“The individual journey takes around 20 minutes and offers something very unique for bustling urban areas: A brief time of solitude,” said Precht.