Blok PARK(let) competition
"A parklet is an intervention which occupies a car parking bay(s) or large sections of a sidewalk, usually temporary in nature, and act as an extension of the public realm." - Future Cape Town.
The Blok exhibition space in Sea Point offered a perfect site for a parklet, considering how busy the road is, how easily accessible to the public the site is, and how highly visible. The timing to announce the winner of the Blok Parklet design competition held recently coincided perfectly with international PARK(ing) Day on Friday 18th September 2015.
International PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.
“As part of International PARK(ing) day this Friday we are reactivating parking spaces across CT, one being in Sea Point and the others in town,” says Jacques van Embden, co-Founder and MD of Blok. “The vision for the parklet in Sea Point, outside the Blok exhibition space, is to extend the non-commercial public space on Regent Road and to be inviting to a wide cross-section of the users of the street and neighbourhood. Blok will also include a free public WiFi connection to encourage more users.”
The aim of the limited invitation Blok Parklet design competition was to identify a team to design and deliver one parklet occupying two parking bays at the Blok showroom at 51 Regent Road, Sea Point. The project was curated and will be delivered in close cooperation with Blok, Future Cape Town, the City of Cape Town and other stakeholders in time for summer.
The winning team chosen was a design by Jaun van Wyk, ‘Regent Rd Parklet by young architect Jaun van Wyk'. Design Team 5, ‘The Hills’ by Lyall Sprong of Thingking was designated the runner-up.
From afar the parklet could be observed as a simple extrusion of art-deco forms, a direct response to the prevailing architectural expression in Sea Point. Each of these abstract forms were arranged within a modular grid. This grid and the subsequent extrusions change according to need, whether it be seating, standing or laying. The abstract nature of the parklet opens it up to interpretation and users are encouraged to use the freestanding structure as they see fit.
The structure is also conceived of recycled plastic sheets. “Recycling” in this sense understood as not just one process; but rather a series of processes which start with removal of waste from the conventional waste streams. Made from 100% recycled materials, these panels use recycled polyethylene-coated materials like cups, plates, plastic bags and cartons to create sustainable, long-lasting building materials.
The parklet will be launched in Summer
Jaun van Wyk, the winning designer, is a young South African architect with a passion for the confluence of architecture, art and fashion who has been particularly involved in the urban development and transformation of the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg.
Van Wyk is also a creative writer within the field of architecture, of which his most notable collaboration with Russian architect Inara Nevskaya was published in the 33rd issue of Volume. His article ‘Reconfiguring and reconstructing lost urban spaces through means of extrapolation’ was used as academic premise for the 2013 exhibition “Layers of Johannesburg”.
Blok is an urban property developer that operates in Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard and CBD. Thoughtfully designed spaces echo their design ethos of “four walls make an apartment, but not necessarily a home”; instead Blok has chosen to deliver apartments with considered spaces such as home offices, fireplaces, daybeds and bars; in the aim of building modern urban homes that are thoughtfully designed.
Beyond the front door, Blok has undertaken to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the neighbourhoods in which it develops. By getting involved in Crime ‘n Grime initiatives as well as upliftment projects that benefit not only Blok owners, but their neighbours.
With sales to date of R925m+, as well as successful urban intervention projects including the installation of the Blade bicycle parking system on the Sea Point Promenade and Thornhill Park revamp in Greenpoint opposite their SEVENONT development, amongst others; Blok is no longer the newcomer in the property scene, but a serious contender that is making waves with their urban focus and community ethos.
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