Moulding steel the fun way!

Applying the basic tenets of origami, Ar. Julio Barreno Gutierrez infuses colour and fun in a functionally requisite shelter in Spain…

Designing for children brings on an excitement; the architect flips through childlike imagery, seeing the world through the eyes of the youngsters. Ar. Julio too found his inspiration in the art of origami, when he was asked to design and build a canopy for a school playground, sheltering the children from the elements during their everyday periodic breaks.

Located in Algodonales, a small scenic village in Sierra de Cadiz in the south of Spain, its landscape abounding with pristine whitewashed houses and their Arab-tiled sloping roofs, set amid olive groves and fruit and vegetable fields; Principe de Asturias is a school with a modern but uninteresting building and two playgrounds. Attempting to rejuvenate the school environment, Ar. Julio resorted to breathe life into the nondescript school playground using brightly coloured sheet steel – infusing the environs with colour and fun.

Connecting the two playgrounds, which were at different levels – one to the north and the other to the west – he has designed a structurally strong one-centimetre thick sheet steel canopy that visually mimics folds of paper. By painting the canopy in vivid pink and blue colours; different colours on both sides, the architect tries to draw one’s attention away from the gravitational property of typical steel construction and approach the project with a focus on the properties of paper instead; i.e. low weight and thickness.

So we have the canopy unfolding like a large linearly spread-out tent, anchored to the ground via the pointed edges of its triangular folds that taper at random intervals to give the canopy its form. Its form is its strength; as it creates an element of intrigue for the children, presenting them with vividness and a playful form day-after-day.

The architect succeeds in underlining the basic principles of origami in architecture and creating a child-friendly fun element that can withstand the test of time, while it will continue to regale generation after generation.

Click here to view the images of colourful canopy on indiaartndesign.com

Conserving Vital Bear Habitat In Europe

The role of specialised bear tours is very important in raising awareness of the issues surrounding the conservation of habitat and the survival of the bear. Tours are offered by reputable wildlife travel companies and provide visitors with the opportunity to see these magnificent animals in the wild. Despite their size and prowess, bears are by no means safe in our world. But while they face a constant struggle to survive, fortunately there are several conservation efforts in place to protect their existence.

Conservation Projects in Europe Aims and Objectives

Most conservation efforts in Europe are centred on non-profit objectives that aim to protect habitat. Depending on where you go, there will be various conservation projects happening in the area you visit. Every area will have its own take on conservation, but there are some common elements seen across them all. Most are multi focussed and concentrate on several species rather than just one – a sensible approach when you consider how intricately intertwined the ecosystems are with the overarching ‘circle of life’.

In Europe for example, much work is going on to stabilise the numbers of the Brown Bear and improve its existing habitat. The projects aim to increase the supply of food as well as tackle poaching and hunting in the mountain ranges. All conservation work involves research and constant monitoring of the population in an attempt to assess the effectiveness of the measures put in place.

A Successful Example

In order to increase the food supply to habitat in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain, there has been huge push to plant fruit trees. More than 6000 have been planted to date, providing the bear population with much needed sustenance. Poaching and hunting is illegal but it still goes on, so rangers have been put in place to patrol the popular hunting grounds and remove snare traps.

Bear tours to see the Brown Bear in Spain are an excellent way to experience a country leading the way in awareness and education of wildlife conservation. The Bear Way is a designated footpath maintained for the use of visitors wanting to see and learn about these animals in the wild, and young children are exposed to educational programmes at school. These programmes encourage the understanding of nature, local ecosystems, and promote diversity and preservation of species, which aids in conservation efforts.

On specialised bear tours with the best wildlife companies, the guide will have plenty of information about the conservation programmes in the local area.