<A playground, play-park, or play area is understood as a place with a specific design to allow people to play>.
#Hypertube is more than that: It is a magnificent urban project, which involves a combination of the RE factors reduce, reuse, recycle together with colour, play and fun. It is a simple and effective project, where participatory design processes are again the key of success.
I truly believe in changing our cities through participatory design methods, where everyone is welcome to participate and design their public space. As explained on previous articles, cities like Zaragoza, Caracas and Barcelona were perfect examples of participatory design and neighbourhood implication and this project is not going that far.
#Hypertube was created by PKMN architectures in conjunction with Taller de Casquería in Madrid in 2013. Their aim was to regenerate the life of an existing vacant plot located in the Tetuán (Madrid) by placing a playful looking structure, which is made up of six precast reinforced concrete tubes two meters in diameter and two and a half meters in length. These dimensions make it possible for anyone to stand inside, from children to grown-ups. They objective was clear: to create a gathering place for neighbours and passers-by.
Its execution was possible thanks to an opened platform created within the Tetuán District called City Scape Quality Improvement Program; a pilot program developed by an open working group of individuals including local cultural agents, politic representatives and neighbourhood representatives who, through a series of periodical meetings carried out throughout 2013, managed the working group itself.
#Hypertube materializes a series of standardised elements that alter the not-any-more abandoned public space allowing all sorts of scenarios: public venues, games, urban furniture, viewpoints… making the project completely versatile.
It is an unfinished liveable urban monument where everyone is allowed to interact with its beauty. This project is also in search of alternative solutions to harmonize this public space through imagination.
This intervention points a way for the revival of a degraded public space though cooperation between designers and the community. The designers are aware of the possible changes that this temporary structure might suffer through time. This is why the project explores the possibility of evolving and also to change, improvise and remove.
It escapes from the standards of common playgrounds, where the user knows exactly what he/she is meant to do. It is an opposition towards the preventive urbanism; a brilliant example that we all need to keep it in mind.
Photo credits: Javier de Paz, Taller de Casquería, PKMN architectures