ARTEKS Arquitectura have created a gorgeous sculptural shade structure at a beachside park in La Pineda, Spain that mimics the shape of real nearby pine trees. The architects recognized the park’s need for shade, but were presented with the dilemma that salt spray from the nearby water would make it difficult to grow the same pine trees that already existed on the site. To solve the problem, architects developed a fiberglass, salt-resistant shade structure that would complement the angled and varied effect of the pine tree’s shape — and we think the completed effect is quite impressive.
The architects considered several points in the thoughtful development of their project. The choice to use lightweight fiberglass makes it possible for the structure to sway slightly with the wind — just as real trees would. Rather than build upright, the shade structures were constructed at an angle to complement the behavior of the species of the existing pines, which have a tendency to grow in the direction of the dominant wind. Renderings of the project also show that the architects were quite methodical in their study of canopy patterns and branching structure, which helped them to create a hexagonal grid, strongly reminiscent of the pines’ canopy cover.
Although we can’t help but miss the environmental benefits of trees, such as their carbon-filtering abilities, we think the architects have definitely captured all the beautiful physical attributes of the pines in a structure unmistakeably inspired by nature, but designed by man.
Photos by Pedro Pegenaute