Jelly Bean, an interactive park that showers rain
In order to better utilize a space of 9 acre site at the heart of the Seattle Center, the Urban Intervention invited designers to conceive a fresh vision of social, economic and environmental opportunities. This was clearly with a view of generating ideas for a new generation and towards applicable solutions for major urban sites around the world. The 9 acre site is originally where the Memorial Stadium stands and will soon be demolished. It is to make way for more public space, which holds whimsical ideas for a new cultural center and public place.
The competition was intended to seek out multidisciplinary design response from innovative designers that contributes to a global dialogue regarding public space utilization. The competition phased out in two parts, wherein three finalist teams will be chosen to receive $30,000 each to fully develop their ideas in the first phase. In the second phase, the Grand prize winner will be selected with a cash prize of $30,000, as well as seven projects selected for merit and commendation awards. The contestants were drawn from around the world with their creative and unique ideas, out of which the most outstanding were the giant bubble structures, ziplines and the floating jelly bean. The Praud architects represented by Dongwoo Yim and Rafael Luna with their Seattle Jelly Bean entry were chosen to compete the second phase. This will progress from April up till May for the final presentation.
The basic idea
The site where the Memorial Stadium occupied will be given a new scale with surrounding blocks. A new scale pattern has been created for the site to bring it down to a more general human scale, by following access points from other public facilities within the site. In this case, the pattern for pedestrian passage becomes more accessible to allow more public to enjoy the park experience even without venturing inside. The passages will remain solid while courts which are designed as inversion passages will become void. The topography created will be different for each void and solid. The pedestrians and joggers will experience a different topography for the solid, whereas in the case of the void the topography will provide landscape fields and functions.
Fusion of cultures
In order to show how the park can absorb the already existing cultures such as the South Fountain Lawn and the International Fountain, new scale and circular patterns with multiple access points will be created around these. Hence the Jelly Bean design has become another way of fusing this cultural dialogue in design.
Unique Jelly Bean design
The Jelly Bean is basically a floating design that is bound to generate a lot of interaction between park visitors, who may otherwise be strangers and communities. The Jelly Bean is also a device that can control micro level climate and therefore, depends very much on the weather or as per public demand. This Jelly Bean is capable of creating various elemental changes like rain, sun shine and cloud or fog effect. The Jelly Bean has also been created to be used a projection screen at night to create a new way of urban activities. It can also be used as reflecting object during the day to enable people to see other parts of the city from inside the park. When the Jelly Bean design completes in May, the Seattle city center may well be poised for a new experience in urban living.