Headline: Upside-Down Flower Parasol Wins Competition
Caption: A flower-influenced 'upside-down' parasol has won a design competition and could soon be used by British holidaymakers. The innovative design by Kim Min Jae Architects (www.kimminjaearchitects.com) sees the parasols representing a living flower through various stages of transformation. Dubbed 'Festival of Nature', the parasol won the recently-announced Paphos Beach Shelter Competition, organised by the Cyprus School Of Architecture (CYSOA). The winning design will be constructed on Geroskipou Municipality Beach, with a view to rolling the design out across other beaches in the area. With a colour inspired by the ocean, the parasol has seven settings to suit the user's preferences. The ability to invert the traditional parasol structure adds to the natural flower aesthetic. Kim Min Jae explains: "It was aimed to transform the beach space on the interface of this marvelous nature into a space which stands for nature of festivals by respecting nature with the design of nature-like parasol beyond the function of sun shade. "To do this, a parasol design was symbolised by a flower that can represent a festival among objects in nature on the land. At the same time, this was inspired by the constantly changing appearance of the sea surface. "Thus, each parasol represents a living flower, and through various stages of transformation, they show various gestures of flowers that can be seen in nature. Also, from the inspiration of various sea surface colours by the reflection of the sunlight, a variety of colours resembling sea surface were put on the canopy. Finally, the designs of the parasols are completed with the users’ ongoing behaviours in the space where the parasols are installed. As a result, this space is filled with gestures of living flowers and sea surface. At the same time, it turns into a festival space resembling a living nature, with various colours, shadows and users’ actions. Functionally, the range of the sunshade can be adjusted to seven steps to suit the users’ preferences, so that those who want to tan, who want to block out direct sunlight and relax and who want to enjoy the beautiful transformation of the parasol are able to be satisfied. "Technically, the parasol’s structure follows the basic components of general parasols, but the structure is upside down in comparison with general ones. As this parasol is demountable, a sand anchor is installed at the bottom end of the base tube to fix it easily on the beach sand without any additional equipment. And by moving the handle on the base tube up and down, the shape of the parasol is changed. Also, if it is completely opened when it is raining, water can be drained perfectly. And the color type of the canopy fabric has 7 types inspired by the colour of the sea surface which changes according to the reflection of the sunlight. And the canopy fabric is made of high-density polyethylene with a diamond grid pattern in order to express a rough surface that seemed to be obtained in nature. Additionally, the geometry of the diamond grid enhances the colours and the textures by changing the shape of the parasol."