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viernes, 7 de febrero de 2014

A PARK IN TENERIFE ISLAND, by MENIS ARCHITECTS.

The park takes its name from the area where it stands, the district of Tristán, and the adjective cuchillitos, knives, is a reference to the layout of the park in the initial design, similar to that of a competition entry submitted in the 1980s for La Villette in France. The site stands on the boundary between various densely populated districts (Las Delicias, the Ofra estate and, to a lesser degree, El Camino del Hierro) and forms part of a pocket of open leisure spaces that characterize this urban area. The site’s topography is the foremost physical characteristic, with differences in level of as much as 30 metres, sweeping down to vistas of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with the Anaga massif beyond. The plot runs in an East-West direction, with prevailing winds from the northwest. In this project, physical matter is the design mechanism; the moulded topography configures the presence of the park in the landscape. The moulding process governed the direction of the project and its construction, as reality is full of surprises that turn the territory into a chaotic, unpredictable conglomerate in density, strata and composition.






The pre-existence of a rock formation that provides a viewing platform and marks the southern limit of the park channels the descent of the topography like volcanic flow, generating different platforms and joining them in the course of this winding descent. The physical environment that constitutes the setting of the park and its particular conditions suggested a flexible layout, into which certain design objectives were introduced, in turn conditioned by the surroundings.

Rather than principal and secondary paths, there is a network of walks that reconcile the different levels. The park is delimited by a footpath that shakes off the impression of being
a pavement, simplifying and easing the transition between park and city. Like those inside the park, this path varies in breadth, becoming wider near the main entrances.



*Fernando Menis talk about his park to TV.

This network of paths, with its free geometry, adapts to the topography to reinforce the image of lava flows, creating routes through the recreated landscape that offer views from
different perspectives. Vegetation covers the park with a view to turning it into a lung for this part of the city. Almost two-thirds of the park’s surface are given over to plant cover, comprising some of the most eye-catching and representative species of the city of Santa Cruz and the surrounding ravines. The predominant feature is the 3000 m2 given over to grass, where games and events for visitors are held. This expanse is surrounded by an amphitheatre that is completely covered with vegetation planted in the form of a comet’s tail that emerges from the viewing platform, converted into the nucleus of a comet embedded in the rock and crumbling the nearer it falls to the activity slope. The blossoming species are chosen to provide splashes of different colours, seeking sensations and tones similar to those of an incandescent flame. This symphony of colour is set in a high, green screen of vegetation that aims to generate a new backdrop, at the same time buffering the park from the aggressive urban environment beyond. Its crumbling parallels that of the comet tail, mutating to cover the rocky surface with vegetation reminiscent of the surroundings of Igueste de San Andrés. Here, the native flora growing among the rocks channels the flows in a North-South direction, partaking of the same conditioning factors. The fence around the park will become overgrown with creepers that will turn the cold steel into a serpent of colours and scents that will set it apart from the exterior.

The descending topography, seemingly frozen in time, provides platforms that become pockets for different uses. More intensive uses, such as children’s playgrounds with swings and slides, and the skateboard facility, like a swimming pool, that treads the complicated line between aesthetics and functionality, alternate in this moulded topography with quieter areas for the elderly and rest.The park becomes a landscape which seems to have been unearthed from its urban surroundings to retrieve a pocket of frozen nature that spills over into the city, Anaga and the sea.