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A Forgotten Airport Has Been Revamped Into a Thriving Public Park

French landscape architects Mosbach Paysagistes have created an ecological oasis on the grounds of a former airport outside the bustling city of Taichung, Taiwan. The sprawling layout of the park uses the original topography of the airport to create numerous installations, fields, and vantage points. Roughly based on philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s “Principle of the 12 Senses,” the architects set out to create 12 different fields, each designated to a sense; from a speech field by a lake crafted to create echoes, to a smell field brimming with a plantation of highly perfumed flowers, the park is all about connecting with the surrounding biodiversity around its visitors.

Mosbach Paysagistes strategically combined nature with solar-powered technology to make Phase Shift Park a natural bubble amid the pollution, humidity, and other atmospheric conditions of the city. Described as a “green lung,” the park contains over 200 types of plant species on the land with more than 10,000 trees expected to come up in the next few years. The architects cleverly chose the greenery, using sprawling trees that reduce humidity and provide shade to areas of leisure. They studied the topography of the site to create carefully crafted porous folds in the ground that maximize rainwater collection during monsoon season. Combined with technical feats such as air filters to remove city pollutants, and mosquito-repelling ultrasounds, every inch of the park has been meticulously thought out.

A winding path follows the topography of the land to guide park goers along the property. 

Phase Shift also contains a few indoor structures, including a café, a public wash facility, and a cultural center. Each of these structures is designed with an unobtrusive gray mesh surface that emits light in the evenings to help guide pedestrians.

There have been many instances of ecological urbanism during the past century. From Paris’s Promenade Plantée, to New York’s Freshkills Park, greenly repurposing former industrial land sites by urban areas has remained a trend. Mosbach Paysgistes’s extensive research to maximize the landscape paired with an innovative use of technology takes this practice into the next level, creating an entirely new type of refuge amid ever-growing cautions of extreme climates, making Phase Shift Park feel like a glimpse into the future.

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