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THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS
MoMA Young Architects Program, First Prize. Santiago, 2012-2013
In 2013 Beals Lyon Arquitectos built their wining proposal for the Chilean version of the Young Architects Program, a temporary site specific installation which promotes an environment of slowness, a new scale for leisure and the unforeseen in a park that is otherwise insistently being pushed and transformed into a productive and lucrative space.
With the labyrinth as a medium, the project creates a narrative of situations of discovery and surprise, exploring the possibilities of public space by introducing new atmospheres and ambiences. A vegetal mass –a cornfield– is explored through a system of timber paths. Its geometric layout is borrowed from the labyrinth that once existed in the gardens of Versailles, which is scaled and adapted to include a series of rooms or ‘follies’, openings in the path, spaces for unexpected situations and events.
The visitors are encouraged to get lost, leaving the rush of the city behind. This quietness will eventually allow them to perceive in a different way: slow, paused, useless, thus establishing a connection with their bodies through a novel sensual experience. This could bring a whole new understanding of space, capable of locating the body back at the centre of architecture.
Nowadays, being always online, connected and available, mobile technology has mostly erased any space for leisure and quietness. The ‘Flanèur’ –the bohemian daydreamer who had time to stroll in the city– if compared with the ‘Commuter’– the person who has to travel every day from home to work with the pressure to convert that time into a productive space– it is evident that what is lacking today is really that space and time ‘in between’, now converted as an imperative space for production by modern society. The otherwise ‘unproductive gaps’, somehow need to be filled.

THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS

YAP (Young Architects Program), First Prize. Santiago, 2012-2013

Address:
Parque Araucano, Santiago de Chile

Client:
Cliente: MoMA - PS1 – CONSTRUCTO

Team:
Alejandro Beals, Loreto Lyon, Claudio Viñuela, Francisca Becerra

Collaboration:
Photography: Magdalena Besomi, Roland Halbe, Cristóbal Palma, Alejandro Beals