Public parks, especially in urban environments such as New York City, are necessary sanctuaries for local residents. Yet the problem many cities face is a lack of space to create them. As a result, some architects, designers, and urban planners have been forced to reimagine the way in which leafy green environments are designed in dense cities. One New York–based holistic design firm is taking this idea to new heights—literally.
Tasked by a Turkish development company, Bilgili Holding, with designing a park in Istanbul—a city that lacks a large amount of green space—Dror’s team created a concept park which features elevated walkways that weave in and out of the trees high above the ground.
The firm’s plan for Parkorman, a space located six miles north of Istanbul’s bustling city center, is a series of several different zones that come together in creating an experience that would otherwise not be possible in traditional, densely packed spaces. First, at the park’s entrance, is the Plaza. Here, visitors can easily gather, sit, or lie down on the lawn, much like a traditional park. From there the environment opens to a segment dubbed ‘The Loop,’ where visitors can enjoy a series of swings and hammocks situated above the park floor. ‘The Chords,’ another area on the grounds, invites people to wander through a footpath that twists around tree trunks, giving the park a signature look unique from any other public park in the world. “The initial idea with ‘The Chords’ was to make it possible to experience nature in ways we don’t typically have,” says Dror Benshetrit, head of the firm that bears his name. “The elevated pathway creates a new interaction with trees at different latitudes.”
As of now, there is no timetable for Dror’s plan. But when it does occur, as the blueprint has been approved by local Turkish authorities, it will undoubtedly challenge the way architects and designers create public parks in the future. “We strongly believe in the importance of bringing nature into architecture,” says Benshetrit. “And I think that we can expect more public green spaces above ground level moving forward.”