Bicentennial Children's Park, Santiago, Chile

Chile has had an incredible economic growth in the last decade, but the urban standards have not increased proportionally. Santiago for example, has no single place where to go for a long walk. These spaces tend to be associated to the geographical features of cities: rivers, seastrands, hills, but in Santiago, the river has already been used for a highway. The only place left is an old agricultural canal running at the base of the Metropolitan Park, the San Cristobal Hill.

It is a ten-kilometer horizontal, continuous path that could be transformed into a pedestrian Promenade. A four-hectare Children’s Park on the hillside, besides being a program to celebrate the bicentennial of Chile, can be
considered as the initial phase of a promenade that will be completed in the coming years.

The site we were given had a steep slope and we decided to transform its difficulty into its major benefit. The slope could be used to dissolve the old dilemma of children’s parks: do we make them safe or do we make them fun? Being on a hillside, allowed us to accumulate height for the slides for example (fun), without ever being more than 30 centimeters away from the ground (safe). Or it enabled us to make tree house that were on the copa of the trees without ever climbing but only by walking horizontally.

Project Credits
Designer: Elemental Studio
Image Credits: Estudio Palma