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Arch premthada sixuanchen huizewu sp2023 03

Sole to Soul

This project acknowledges the importance of foot care to the well-being of elephants and responds to the post-Covid tourism industry by redefining clinical spaces for animals.

During our site visit, we observed how elephants freely roamed among the trees, and as we removed our shoes, we too experienced a sense of calm. Therefore, this design aims to foster a connection between humans and elephants by emphasizing the tactile experience of their feet. Drawing from the expertise of local doctors, various ground materials are applied for different program areas to train elephants’ fragile footpads. Two circulation paths with alternating heights are designed to increase proximity between visitors and elephants, breaking down the barrier between the two and even allowing for interactions. This approach not only ensures the safety of tourists but also frees elephants from being chained up. Other programs such as clinics, elephant foot training areas, and a central garden are spreading around the elephant main trail. A key insight we gained from our design process is the importance of considering scale in both time and space. Elephants and humans can seek their unique journeys by following the tactile feeling along the pathway and in the zones.