The Grey Space in Green Space

The Grey Space in Green Space

 

There’s this place in Copenhagen called The Glass Market. It’s a farmers market encased in a glass building. Appropriately titled and a wonderful place, this is NOT an article about the glass market.

Just across the street from the glass market - Frederiksborggade to be exact – lies this little park, Israels Plads. I walked on over like the curious newcomer I was, but never did I think I would fall in love with a concrete park. The only green coloring you’ll find there lies at the tops of trees above your cone of vision, but somehow this space evoked green. It felt healthy and happy, just like an oasis in the city. How could that be? Its appearance which was supposed to be harsh appeared so soft.

The thing is, green space doesn’t have to be green. While the struggle remains to inject fauna into city centers, we should equally be injecting benches and skate parks and other healthy people-oriented places.

Israels Plads may be the anomaly for concrete parks, but it’s not. People flock to the basketball courts or the skate park at Venice beach, me included, and watch the players and skaters for hours. Sorry, small tangent, back to Copenhagen…

Israeli Plads wouldn’t not succeed if it were just a massive slab of pavement. Its success comes from its diverse design. On one end lies enclosed courts, where kids of all ages play basketball and soccer. The outer rim of those courts is slanted inward providing yet another play space to inhabit.

Then you see this pyramid-like form sticking up at the other end of the park. Lots of parents like to sit here as they have a panoramic view of all of the park’s activities. Directly in front of the monolithic homage to Egypt, children splash in and out of the river like fountain. All the while I’m studying the joys of this space, I neglected to notice until a whopping 30 minutes after my arrival, that this park was actually the roof of an underground parking garage. And that pyramid I was sitting on was a pyramid because it was the lift where cars would exit.

God I love Copenhagen.

 
The Green Space in Grey Space

The Green Space in Grey Space

art . architecture . object

art . architecture . object