Word on the street at ARTIS
Every day at ARTIS, something important gets stepped on. Most people do not even notice, because they tend to be looking at the enclosures. But some visitors, especially small children, have a better awareness. They are still capable of being amazed by the zigzagging patterns and upturned edges. In other words, they understand how valuable it is to look down. Furthermore, there is every reason to do so at ARTIS, as tremendous thought was put into the paving.
From the air, ARTIS looks like a green oasis in the city for much of the year. In winter, however, when most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, you can see that ARTIS is actually an archipelago, made up of different plots that are clearly distinct from one another. These plots each have their own atmosphere and design. Were it not for the paving, they would instead appear to be clustered together like loose sand. The paving connects all of ARTIS with its flowing serpentine lines. The paths flow around the borders like water, opening up the park to everyone.
The green parts are already renewed, the yellow parts still needs to be done.
The ARTIS clinker brick
Because of its important connecting role, the paving is also part of the major upgrades at ARTIS. To accomplish this huge task, the ARTIS clinker brick was created, in both yellow and manganese (an aubergine colour). This clinker brick is a natural brick, untreated (smooth) and primarily laid, throughout the park, in a 45° Herringbone pattern. A guide for all of the paving at ARTIS was drawn up in cooperation with landscape architect Mathieu Derckx. It includes a description of how the ARTIS clinker brick responds to curves, objects and unexpected street situations in the park. For example, it explains how the clinker bricks should respond to sewer drains and poles, how they ideally accompany benches and how much joint depth is desirable for different situations.
One fluid movement
The result of all of these rules is that ARTIS seems to unfurl before you in one fluid movement. In the near future, all of the different plots will be encircled by a single yellow logic. Funnily enough, the austerity of the paving is exactly what helps you experience ARTIS in a relaxed way. The well thought-out 45° Herringbone pattern makes your path carefree, because you feel free to wander within the clearly-defined contours. The meandering path forms a familiar base for encounters with many organisms within different atmospheres. The paving not only forms a continuous contrast with the plots, but also reflects the true essence of ARTIS. After all, ARTIS is for wandering around and standing still. Just follow the yellow brick road.