Author: Soha Rangie
In the article “The Abo Atash Park”, Soha Rangie uses Olmstead’s way of writing and his design principles to describe the Abo Atash Park in Iran. With this example, Soha tries to show us that the density of an environment calls for creative solutions to design green spaces, like a bridge above a highway. This article is important because it states that architectural elements can be transformed or used as a communal green space. – Editor: Aida Mazori
Parks are by no means the only public places where people can relax without being worried about cost and time. Some famous parks around the world like New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, and the Genting Highland of Malaysia, were built naturally using similar strategies. However, nowadays in these crowded and hectic cities, where there are hardly places for buildings to fit, expecting a completely natural park might be absurd or at least, in my city, unattainable. We build parks to escape the crowd, pollution, cars, and soulless buildings, but in the Abo Atash Park (Fire and Water Park) it does not seem this way. The park is built in the middle of the capital city, Tehran, Iran, where the highways insanely pass through each other, and skyscrapers are raised to the sky.
This park is built at the intersection of two main highways of Tehran. The main difference between this green area and others is that it offers people a panoramic view of the city from about 60 feet above the ground. People are not surrounded by trees here, but they can stroll on a bridge, cross the highways and get immersed in the trees on the other side of the road. This is just amazing. This park is not located at one spot; instead, it is spread throughout the whole area of Tehran’s Third District. Then, these spots are connected to each other with various bridges, each providing a variety of views towards different highways.
The Abo Atash Park is a drastic change from what we consider as a park. The whole park is made up of interlocking portions between the North-South and East-West highways. One would never imagine that the open spaces above each highway could be a park one day, but architects made the most of these spaces and built a park out of them. One main feature of the Abo Atash is that it is connected to another natural park right across the highway, which offers people who love nature a very calm and beautiful place to relax and refresh. This park is a wise response to this crowded city, where it is hard to find a place to park your car. It is amazing to have a park right above of your head!