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Atelier MIC: La Forêt AFI Children’s Amusement Park is located in Meishan City, Tianfu New District, Sichuan Province. It is part of the Fragrance Jardin, which is the Startup Zone of Sino French Agricultural Science and Technology Park, covering an area of about 7,000 square meters. The developers hope it will be an especially dynamic and popular amusement park for children and their families with agriculture and nature themes.
The theme of the Park Beginning with a seed
In order to fit the concept of “Earth Symbiosis”，the design team chose “seed” as the theme of the park — Seed is the beginning of the Life Circle of agriculture and even all things. Plus it is common, easy to understand, easy to obtain for children, and has a strong extension of education and science popularization.
Under the theme of seed, in order to realize the significance of learning through playing, the design team implanted the “Growth cycle tour” of seed including Sprouting, growth, flowering, dispersal and decline as popular science, which is combined with the way of playing to form a unique immersive play experience.
▼种子的生命循环 Life cycle of seeds
Sprouting Busy loosing the soil in wormholes
While the seeds are still sleeping in the soil hotbed, the earthworms keep digging around, the soil becomes loose, air and water come to the seeds, and the seeds break through the soil and show little buds.
Wormholes are made from irregular burrows dug by earthworms in the sunken part of the site, which magnified 200 times. Children can experience earthworm trails in this irregular, half-covered space; and learn the popular science knowledge of earthworms and ants living in the underground at the magnification node; they can also observe the seeds in the seed pit device, and get seeds alive at the seeds exchange, sow them by themselves in the “seed experiment field” of the park, leaving exclusive new hope behind.
Growth Irrigating with Micro-Water project
Hearing thunder as soon as the seeds come out of the ground, rain falls down and gathers into a stream. Later on, the Moon Bay (reservoir) collects all the swarmed streams. When it doesn’t rain, the water project can still provide good irrigation for seeds.
Micro-Water project is a 150-meter-long slow-flow canal formed by the elevation difference of the site. It is not only the reproduction of the water circulation of nature, but also the miniature simulation of farming, and it is the playable landscape of the park as well.
The kids can paddle around in whirlpools, generating curiosity about where the water comes from; then walk upstream, experiencing the small DAMS that control the flow’s speed and direction; after leaving the dam, they can go to The Moon Bay Reservoir to observe the full moon and new moon replacement at different water levels caused by water discharge. Along the way, the kids can experience water pumping Wells; While they finally reach the waterfalls which are half-buried in the ground, the children can feel the water closely and find the final answer – Ah! The waterfalls from the sky.
Considering the extreme heat of Chengdu in summer, the cooling spray has been set up along the way to provide cool air for the summer outing, at the same time it contributes a lot for improving the atmosphere of the landscape.
Flourishment A maze of fast-growing bamboo forests
With the nourishment of earth, sunlight, air, water the seeds grow up, forming luxuriant branches and leaves.
▼法国艺术家Etienne Favre手绘草图 Hand-painted sketch of French artist Etienne Favre
The fastest-growing, the most vigorous in the world, plant the bamboo is also a local specialty in Meishan, which is used as a material for Bamboo Maze, expressing the image of exuberance.
Based on the Sino-French cooperation background of the project, the design team invited French artist Etienne Favre to design and build the Bamboo Maze together with bamboo elements. On the main body formed of 400 bamboo sticks, the artist cut the bamboos into small sections and connected them in series. Besides, gourds, spoons, metal bowls and other components were added to form a group of interactive installation curtains.
When the kids move through the maze and lift the “curtain”, they can experience the ding-dong sound in the flow of light and shadow. Moreover, they can find all kinds of magical music devices: rubber and aluminum pipe harp, pinching gloves to play the clarinet, roller filled with seeds inside, wheels rustling when turning…Playing their own bamboo concert to create a rich sensory experience.
Blooming Gorgeous Revolving Garden
In luxuriant foliage, the seeds metamorphose into a variety of gorgeous flowers, attracting different kinds of insects. The garden becomes very lively.
▼旋转花园手绘插画动图 Hand-painted illustrations of Revolving Garden
The Fuchsia Carousel is the well-deserved core of the Revolving Garden area and takes on a level of appearance. Its ceiling is based on plants fuchsia’s hanging-upside-down shape. The game is played on the popular carousel for children, while the mounts are designed as various honeysuckle insects.
The rotation of the Fuchsia Carousel needs to be powered by the mushroom bicycles trodden by the parents. Designers hope to promote parent-child interaction through such collaboration. When the flowers are rotating in the Revolving Garden, the children on the insect mounts turn into spirits of honey and dance among the flowers.
▼旋转花园立面图 The Revolving Garden Elevation
The Jingle Swing around the Fuchsia Carousel is composed of a row of metal pendants shaped like lilies of the valley flowers with varying heights and sizes. The flowers fluttered in the wind and made jingling sounds. The shorter ones can be used as a single point of the swing, while the taller ones can be used by parents to assist children in the swing ride.
In addition, Calla Lily Tube, Tiger Lily Leaf, big Ladybug Climbing Hill and other play facilities provide game functions while creating the landscape atmosphere in the Revolving Garden area.
Dispersal The fantastic journey of Squirting Cucumber and Tumbleweed.
After a feast of flowers, fruits and new seeds are gradually formed, the new seeds are spread in all sorts of interesting ways: jet, rolling, with the help of wind, water and animal transportation, etc. They set off on new journeys with hopes.
▼大喷瓜手绘插画动图 Hand-painted illustrations of Squirting Cucumber
The game play design of the Giant Squirting Cucumber stems from the way of how fruit squirting cucumber, which is the most powerful fruit, dispersing their seeds over a distance of ten meters.
In order to enhance the interaction between peers and parents in the game, the Giant Squirting Cucumber is designed to be a multi-player game. After the four steps of “filling and transporting seed shells, aiming and pulling the ring to fire”, the seed shells are fired to the hole with the corresponding score, making a hit drum sound, and then rolling back to the launching area again along the gentle slope pipe in the hole.
▼大喷瓜立面图 The Giant Squirting Cucumber Elevation
The family members can always cooperate and have a scoring competition with another family here. The children can also observe the physical movement rules of the ball, hear the sound feedback, get science popularization and play fun in the multi-dimensional experience at the same time.
The idea for the Tumbleweed Farm comes from the way tumbleweeds spread their seeds by rolling them in the wind.
The area is composed of tumbleweeds track, mountain path, big slide, climbing column, mechanical marble launcher and other play facilities with various ways for games.
▼风滚草农场手绘插画动图 Hand-painted illustrations of tumbleweed farm
Combined with the sloped topography of the original site with a level difference of 10 meters, children can play the role of “wind” in nature with pushing the bamboo-made tumbleweeds ball to roll up and down the ramp, compete for who can spread faster.
Parts of the ramp area were designed as a pinball playground at 50 times magnification. The tumbleweeds ball can be catapulted while pulling the lever at the bottom of the playground. After hitting the column randomly, the tumbleweeds ball returns to its original position.
Withering Look forward to the rebirth of Deadwood Paradise
When the new seeds leave, the original plants lose their vitality and look like dead trees. But the next spring, there may be a nursery for new buds growing. Life will be reborn again and multiply endlessly.
▼枯木乐园剖面图 The Deadwood Paradise Section
The design of Deadwood Paradise is about the withering part of the seed’s life cycle. It is composed of two dead wood towers with different heights. The designer concentrated a lot of comprehensive gameplay in the 500 square meters three-dimensional site built by dead wood: the high spiral slide, the open slide, the short slide on the second floor, the swing bridge connecting the two towers, and the winding net bridge climbing from the ground to the tower…
After the climbing, the children will find themselves on top of the park, overlooking the whole site and all the play scenes. It looks like a review of a life journey.
Build a continuous full IP of Life Circle
As a natural and agricultural-themed unpowered an amusement park for children, La Forêt AFI was designed by the seed theme. While sculpting the experience of playing, the designers create a series of childlike seed IP images of AFI and its friends, and enhance the overall value of “Circle of Life”.
▼IP形象设定 The IP Images
On this basis, after continuous polishing for two years, a complete set of IP output system covering the site play, landscape, play devices, atmosphere creation, VI, guide system, visual system, IP image, IP derivative product development, animation publicity, operation mode and other aspects are finally presented in a complete way.
▼氛围营造 Atmosphere creation
▼IP衍生商品 IP derivative product
As a gift to all children and families, we hope that La Forêt AFI will be born as: If a seed Awoke From the Illusion.
▼主题乐园总平面设计 Master Plan
▼项目视频-点击启动游戏 Video – Click to start the game
设计团队：朱敏贤、马箐、刘堃、黄宁、梁琳鸿、胡鑫、赵俊、赵慧敏、赵煜、杨云帆、忻恺、任潇宇、程可馨、Etienne Favre、Simon Drouin、颜杨、刘文章
Project Name: La Forêt AFI
Design: Atelier MIC
Design year: August 2018
Completion year: June 2020
Lead designer: Wu Jiyu, Wei Wu, Dong Wanlu
Design team: Zhu Minxian, Ma Qing, Liu Kun, Huang Ning, Liang Linhong, Hu Xin, Zhao Jun, Zhao Huimin, Zhao Yu, Yang Yunfan, Xin Kai, Ren Xiaoyu, Cheng Kexin, Etienne Favre, Simon Drouin, Yan Yang, Liu Wenzhang
Site area: 7000 ㎡
Photo Credits: Atelier MIC
Partner: WISTO Design
Client: Overseas Chinese Town (Parc Agricole technologique Sino Francis)
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