Stefan Gzyl‘s new project “Parc Disponible” is one of the finalists on an international competition recently held in Paris on ways to incorporate nature into the urban environment in original ways. “Parc Disponible” is a glass box enclosing a mini-park for individual use within the city.
The urban park is a modern invention. It is the response to a particular need that emerged with and within the industrial city. Its implementation was destined to satisfy specific recreational, hygienic, social and economic requirements of the city and its population. These conditions generated a new kind of public space. In the XX century, the quantification of nature (the establishment of an ideal ratio of built to natural within the urban environment) determined a proportional relation between park and city: the larger and more populated the city, the bigger and more numerous the parks. The size of the urban park was determined by the number of people it had to serve; its ultimate purpose, to provide a means of escape from the city within the city, determined its relation to the urban context: one of mutual exclusion. According to this logic, the insertion of the park always constitutes an interruption of the city’s fabric: it is either park or city, but never both.