100 Architects has completed another twist on its recurring series of projects revolving around the concept of the Horse for its client, Dong Yuan Dichan Properties, this time using an eye-catching monochromatic aquamarine green color turned into a playscape for children and adults alike.
First came the popular HorseBox in Chengdu; soon after, the least abstract ones, HorseLand & SeaHorse, both in Chongqing; and finally, the latest, largest, and most famous one, Pegasus Trail also in Chongqing.
After four different successful projects exploring alternative ways of playing around same Dong Yuan’s IP image of the Horse, they reached out to the designers for a fifth time for yet another fun twist.
This time, for the public realm of a newly built residential development in the city of Hangzhou, the response was a bit more calligraphic.
A playscape driven by the actual shape of the Chinese character Mă (马) which guess what? Yes, it means Horse.
In order to be visible, recognizable, and even readable from all the surrounding residential towers, the designers created a huge Chinese character in eye-catching monochromatic aquamarine green color, and then turned it into a playscape.
100 Architects realized that the character’s calligraphic stroke, when geometricized, was ideal for becoming a playful path or ‘Way’ of entertaining activities filled with challenging obstacles & fun features for encouraging social interactions.
Thus, its name, Mă Way. Also a play on words. You do it your way.
Furthermore, the canvas onto which the character is calligraphed, the negative surrounding space, complement the path of playful activities with different pocket plazas for leisure.
These offer seating opportunities in the form of a sunken plaza, and shaded areas for kids and adults alike, as well as sports areas for youngsters and teenagers or floor games for kids, converting the space into a multi-functional and multi-generational square.
Taking advantage of the independence of one of the strokes, separated from the main calligraphic body, the designers proposed a vertical play-wall.
When seen from above looks like a straight stroke line, and when seen from a pedestrian point of view, becomes a challenging wall full of perforations & vertical games besides climbing and sliding opportunities.
Mă Way has been thoughtfully developed as a “Play Route” from end to end of the different character strokes, having into consideration different challenges and levels of difficulty for different age groups along the path.
Calligraphy strokes on the floor set the path along which kids have fun and adults gather or have a rest, unifying them in a colorful path that gives shape and order to the Play Route.
Project: Mă Way
Architects: 100 Architects (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Design Team: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Mónica Páez, Lara Broglio, Ponyo Zhao, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Michelle Aldora, and Yuntong Liu
Project Management Team: Matías Hernández, Jenny Fan & Eva Jiang.
Client: Dong Yuan Dichan Properties (东原地产)
Photographer: Rex Zou
Videographer: Lalo López