You won’t find much green space in Istanbul, Turkey. According to the World Cities Culture Forum, just 2.2 percent of the city is made up of public parks and gardens. That’s easily one of the lowest percentages in any major international metro; compared to, say, New York City (27 percent green space) or Sydney (45 percent), you have to wonder if the 14.8 million people in Istanbul have ever seen a tree.
The architectural firm DROR recognizes this problem and is aiming to solve it with an ambitious—and undeniably badass—plan for a forest park six miles north of Istanbul’s city center. It’s called Parkorman, and its masterminds say it’s a “living system of places for visitors to explore.”
They’re not kidding. The park consists of several main zones, each with a unique theme: At the entrance of the park sits the Plaza, an open space for “collective experience and gathering.” Then there’s the Loop, which invites visitors to swing and sway on hammocks above the forest.
If that’s a little too peaceful, tourists can dive into massive ball pits in the Pool, and then walk over to the Chords: a floating footpath that passes through tree trunks into giant, bendy loops with trampolines at the center.
In the Grove, there’s a maze-like trail with Turkish sculptures, tailormade for exploration. And finally, the Fountain of Clarity is a cube-shaped frame that sends water down all four sides and opens by way of hydraulic piston.
This is technically the spot in the park where you should reflect, according to the architects, but if it were me, I’d spend the time I was supposed to be “reflecting” either a.) wondering what the hell I’m doing standing inside a water cube or b.) wishing I was back swimming in that glorious ball pit.
The DROR architects said they set out to create a park that “dissolves the anxiety and fear that often accompanies an unfamiliar environment through a network of conditions that fosters unconditional love.” That’s all well and good, but honestly, all they needed to do was put out a press release saying, “YOU GUYS, CHECK OUT THESE TREETOP TRAMPOLINES” and it would’ve done the trick.
No word yet on when Parkorman will be open to the public, but it never hurts to start looking into plane tickets to Turkey.