Shanghai-based specialist street architecture practice 100architects has designed a new playground typology in Chongqing, China’s third-largest city that has grown exponentially in the past decade. Pegasus Trail is an example of the many avant-garde urban public interventions made by 100architects in the street architecture realm.
This project intends to be a new typology of public space – “an urban toy for the city”. Following the studio’s belief that “Play is not only for kids”, 100architects designed an urban playscape for the city, and for all its citizens, regardless of their age. It is a playscape that acts as an urban attractor, merged with the cityscape, blurring the boundaries between the play area and the surrounding cityscape, and presenting itself open and accessible for everyone.
The design of this multifunctional playscape is inspired by equestrian sports, in which the horse is the central feature of disciplines such as “dressage” and “show jumping”, and from which its name Pegasus is inspired.
The mythical winged horse leaves a magical yellow trace behind, meandering accurately around circular mini-plazas that serve as platforms for leisure and social interactions, turning the playscape into a multifunctional public space to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
Like the equestrian sports, the design of Pegasus Trail is based on a challenging course of obstacles that users need to overcome successfully, turning the playscape into a “Play Route”. It has been designed as a playful course of challenging activities along the path of the yellow ribbon, which helps to develop and challenge the physical abilities and cognitive skills of the users.
All the playful components of the Play Route have been carefully studied and designed to create a sequential circuit of events, composed of challenging activities to be executed one after the other in a linear way.
Therefore, the Play Route has been split into different sections with different complexities for different age groups. This translates into an easier level of complexity in playful components for kids from three to six years old at the horse’s tail, and it gradually increases while getting closer to the horse’s head, presenting bigger challenges for kids from six to 14 years old.
The ribbon meanders around three circular mini-plazas hosting different typologies of urban furniture for resting. While the ribbon represents the play and the action for kids, the circular plazas represent the rest and the calm spaces for parents and adults.
In order to make the ribbon eye-catching and distinct from its surrounding background, it was rendered in a bright and intense yellow colour, an energetic colour that grabs the attention of passersby, and evokes a sense of happiness, vitality and optimism.
The floor, solved with ethylene propylene diene monomer to absorb impacts while playing, renders a wide range of patterns, graphics and interactive games which connect the different spaces and activities on the ribbon.
The night effect of the project enhances the meandering profile of the ribbon with LED warm lightboxes embedded in both borders of the ribbon, while other LED lightboxes embedded in the floor highlight as well the perimeter of the circular plazas.
- Project name: Pegasus TrailProject name: Pegasus Trail
- Architect:100 Architects (Shanghai)
- Design team: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Mónica Páez, Lara Broglio, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Ponyo Zhao, Elena Michelutti, Hayley Huang, Jango Zhang & Yuntong Liu.
- Project management team: Jenny Fan, Nicholas Lv & Eva Jiang.
- Client: Dong Yuan Dichan Properties (东原地产)
- Size: 3,600m2
- Location: Chongqing (China)
- Photographs: Rex Zou
- Videography: Lalo Lopez
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