Phase Shifts Park in Taichung, Taiwan, has been designed by French landscape architects Mosbach Paysagistes and combines nature and technology to create a refuge from the heat and pollution of the city.
The park, built on the site of Taichung’s old airport, includes undulating surfaces that channel rainwater, as well as outdoor play areas for families and sports facilities, all connected by winding pathways.
Taiwan has a humid subtropical climate, warmed by the Kuroshio ocean current. The park is designed to create pockets of fresher, cleaner air through landscaping and technology.
The design team began by producing a series of maps using data from three computational fluid dynamics simulations. One map covers heat distribution across the site, another humidity and the third air quality.
Cooling technologies used in Phase Shifts Park include misting devices that release clouds of water vapour, and underground heat exchangers that blow cool air at people as they walk through the park.
Drying devices use silica gel to absorb water from the air before circulating it, while air filters remove pollutants such as particulate matter from vehicle emissions.
Mosquito-repelling devices emit an ultrasound that’s too high for human ears to detect but mimics the frequency of a dragonfly’s wings, scaring the bothersome insects away.
These technologies, as well as the park’s street lighting, are powered by solar panels on the north and south side of the 70-hectare site.
Mosbach Paysagistes planted trees with wide, waxy leaves or white flowers to act as a natural cooling device by creating shade or reflecting sunlight.
These trees also provide shelter from rain showers and absorb some of the moisture from the air through aerial roots, reducing humidity.
Roads have been partially buried, with tunnels underneath hummocks that provide hills for people to walk over and cut down on traffic pollution.
Mosbach Paysagistes designed different gardens around Phase Shifts Park, each with different native plants to encourage certain local insects and wildlife.
The few structures around the park, such as a maintenance shelter and some educational pavilions, are realised in an unobtrusive pale grey colour to match the street furniture.
At night, the public toilet pavilion lights up to helpfully guide visitors to the restroom facilities.
Mosbach Paysagistes was founded by Catherine Mosbach in 1987. Previous projects include the landscaping around an outpost of the Louvre in northern France.
Other landscape architecture project shortlisted for Dezeen include a playground formed of folds and tunnels in Changzhou and an underground bike parking place in Copenhagen.
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