Paul Clemence captures the MFO park of Burckhardt & Partners in Zürich in bloom

Paul Clemence captures the MFO park of Burckhardt & Partners in Zürich in bloom

Paul Clemencethe capture of Zürich MFO Park is a series of evocative photos for Archi-photo, demonstrating the juxtaposition between the metal shell of the artificial and the wilderness of the park itself. The vines intertwining on the skeleton of the structure create an attractive destination, reconstituting the industrial wasteland and replacing it with a renewed and captivating image.

MFO Park Zürich is a dynamic park landscape in Switzerland, previously a site used for around a century by Oerlikon Machine Works (MFO). Saturated with construction debris and pollution during a long period of industrialization, it has turned into a green paradise with nearby woodlands Oerliker Park overflowing with ash trees. Offering a diverse area of ​​open spaces, it is available to the public for a wide range of activities and events, with the presence of ‘park house‘, a large open room and trellises wrapped in climbing vegetation.

MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul ClemenceMFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul ClemenceMFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul ClemenceMFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence+ 10

MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence

The MFO Park ‘Park House’ was designed by the Basel architecture firm Burckhardt & Partners and uses the remains of the old factory building. The coat hanger-sized trellis and inviting areas to sit and relax provide Zurich residents with space to enjoy the outdoors, which comes in especially handy during Covid social distancing guidelines . The structure offers an array of seating, balconies, a rooftop terrace and a minimalist-themed water basin, all carefully arranged, offering some privacy. The landscape was designed by the Zurich company Raderschall Partners, complementing the industrial aesthetic of the construction. Originally opened in 2002, this particular regenerative project has won numerous awards, including the ‘most innovative contemporary park or garden‘, of European Garden Heritage Network.


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MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence

What is fascinating about this particular project is the striking seasonal change of the site. During the winter months the shell of the building is revealed, to disappear beneath the flora in the spring and summer. The capture of wild vines in pink and purple tones encases the site in beauty and charm. the lattice trellis is made of steel creating orthogonal construction. Clémence captured the impact of its shape, casting geometric shadows on the ground. A vast contrast to the natural, untamed form of the foliage itself.

MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence

Clémence expressed the spirit of the place, a site rich in shadows, altering the light and the scents through the power of her lens. Images that present its magnitude and denote ephemeral themes. The essence of biophilia envelops the envelope of the building as if it were a form of cladding on its facade. A green coat that hides the terrible history of this former industrialized space. It has been given new life, replenished through the undisputed beauty of nature.

MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland.  Image © Paul Clemence
MFO Park, Zurich, Switzerland. Image © Paul Clemence

Paul Clemence is an award-winning writer and photographer exploring the field of architecture and design. His work is recognized in ArchDaily, Metropolis and Casa Vogue Brazil among others. Archi-Photo otherwise known as Architectural Photography, his Facebook photoblog, quickly became an online sensation with a large following of over 970,000 followers. His published work Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe remains the most comprehensive photographic documentation of residential design to date.

See the full series and learn more about his work on his Facebook page Archi-photo.



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