This September, you may be able to perfect your golf swing in the center of Trafalgar Square. As part of the London Design Festival, which runs September 17–25, a number of international designers and architects have submitted plans for a nine-hole mini-golf course, each envisioned as much more zany and eye-catching than your average putting green. Organizers are currently raising £120,000 (~$175,000) to fund it through Kickstarter, but if realized, play will be free for all.
Contributors include British designers Tom Dixon and Paul Smith as well as the late Zaha Hadid, whose hole represents one of her last designs before passing away last month (officials in Italy also just inaugurated her first posthumous building). Curvilinear and minimal in color (naturally), her two-level track traces the shadow of Nelson’s column, with its lines also recalling the carved grooves of the giant granite structure.
“Over the 13 years of the festival we have realized three large-scale projects with Zaha — this will be the fourth,” Festival Deputy Director Christopher Turner told Hyperallergic. “Her studio’s sinuous contribution for the crazy golf course is a thrilling design, and if our Kickstarter campaign is successful, we’ll be pleased to see it realized right at the centre of the city.
“The festival does plan to have a commemorative moment to celebrate Zaha and her work, but that is in planning — details to be released soon.”
Organizers had given the participating artists an incredibly broad task: to imagine what the city of the future may be, as Turner describes in the Kickstarter video, but through functional and playable architectural models. Smith, who curated the project, will transform the steps of the National Gallery into a rainbow, with each line representing a track to a hole. A “neoclassical clubhouse” will also stand near the museum’s entrance. Dixon’s, comprising a large funnel and an entanglement of tubes, intends to consider the transport systems of the future. London-based architecture practice Ordinary Architecture have designed a large cross-section of a pigeon that reveals its anatomy to illustrate how the bird’s digestive system works; players aim golf balls through its mouth and watch as they roll through its guts before popping out through its butt. The rendering by Hat Projects and Tim Hunkin is also pretty fun: envisioned as a high-rise building under construction (the future will include no sky!), the towering course will deposit poorly aimed balls into containers with labels such as “Affordable Housing,” “Bankruptcy,” and “Abandoned Dreams.” On the other hand, if your aim is true, a contraption will pour you a glass of whiskey.
As with most large-scale Kickstarter projects, the renderings look pretty cool, but we’ll have to wait until it becomes reality to see if this takeover of one of the world’s busiest squares will truly be a hole-in-one.