What would it look like if Theodor Seuss Geisel (you may know him as Dr. Seuss) had gone into architecture instead of children’s books? It’s hard to say for sure, but I imagine that his design for a public water park would look a little bit like this:
No, that’s not a drawing from Spezzer Makes a Splash, The Lark in the Park, or some other could-have-been Seussical hit. It came from the minds over at JDS Architects, a Brussels-based design firm. The description on their website reads, “The build program and disposed soil is planned in circular cones of different heights and angles, to guide the water running from the top reservoir. The water flows between islands, through canyons and under bridges creating an artificial landscape to shield a new housing development from the soils of the rural harbour area.”
It’s a little bit difficult to see what they’re talking about from the earlier pictures, but this image should give you a better idea:
The waterpark would serve as a buffer between a neighborhood and the nearby rural area. Plus, it would be an exciting place where families could relax or splash about on these Seuss-like cone hills.
I have to say: it’s a beautiful design. The hills are eye-catching and the huge, hollowed-out hill in the center of the space would encourage exciting imagination.
However, there are a few features of this design that I’d improve upon. First of all, it’s important to realize that these hills are comprised entirely of stairs, making them a bit of a strenuous task for some would-be park-goers. The only areas that are flat enough to comfortably recline on are at the top of the hills, but in order to get to them you’ve got to endure a workout. I wish that the designers had added more flat real estate around the shoreline so that parents could comfortably stretch out on a beach towel while they watch their kids swim nearby.
Plus, the emphasis of water parks should be on the water. People go to beaches and swimming pools because they want to get wet, not because they want to climb stairs and appreciate well-designed hills. I’m writing on an aquatic architecture blog, so maybe I’m a little bit biased here, but I wish that the designers had included something to appeal to kids more — water slides, fountains, or waterfalls.
I don’t mean to be too negative about this design. After all, this water park explores a beautifully inspiring idea that highlights how well landscapes and aquascapes can work together to create a stunning aesthetic. You might want to take a page out of JDS Architects’ book the next time you consider a custom aquascape for your home or office setting. Don’t just think about the water itself — think about the surrounding landscape and how water and earth can visually complement each other.