Pixeland is a public space project comprising a combination of different outdoor facilities in a single space, such as landscape features, playground features for children and leisure features for adults. Shanghai-based architecture firm 110architects is brightening up the urban environment of the city located in the north of the Chinese Sichuan Province counting about five million inhabitants.
The project brightens up a public plaza in the Chinese city of Mianyang, which is known for the electronics industry. The 1,500 m² public city plaza is inspired by the digital concept of the pixel. A pixel is the smallest independent part of an image with its own colour information, and it is the combination of numerous pixels that creates any digital image.
Design team members
Marcial Jesús, Javier González,
Stefanie Schramel, Lara Broglio,
Mónica Páez, Keith Gong
2 million Chinese yuan
Multifunctional public space
Transferring this idea to the project’s spatial organisation strategy, the architects thought of creating a multifunctional public space through the addition and combination of smaller independent functional pixels. While each of the pixels has its own function and characteristics and can be read as an independent entity, the combination of all of them results in a very eye-catching and playful general multifunctional public space.
The main pixel used in the core of the project is a perfect square of 5 x 5 metres regarded as the minimum space to host functions suitable for a group of people. Closer to the borders, smaller pixels of 2.5 x 2.5 m and 1.25 x 1.25 m are introduced as a modular approach to deal with access, pedestrian circulation and the landscape at the perimeter.
Photo: Amey Kandalgaonkar
Composition of different functions
Photo: Amey Kandalgaonkar
Each pixel is a component with its own function. The functional pixels are therefore positioned in different combinations to generate a hyper-stimulating hardscape of leisure activities.
Surrounded by small pixels of greenery as a perimeter solution to provide privacy and safety surrounding the playscape, the plaza is also equipped with lounge resting areas, picnic areas with seats and tables, seating box structures to provide shadow, sunken communal benches, sloped lawns for reclining and small amphitheatres for gatherings.
Besides the leisure features, Pixeland also scores with a wide range of scattered play features, culminating in a horse-themed playground in the middle of the plaza for the pleasure and entertainment of younger users.
The chequered red plaza has been developed in a multilevel way, providing an interesting artificial topography growing in height towards the centre, where the voxelated horse is strategically placed at the top. The word voxel is derived from the words ‘volume’ and ‘pixel’. A voxel is the three-dimensional equivalent of a pixel and the tiniest distinguishable element of a three-dimensional object.