Tag Archive: playground

  1. Gridgrounds
    Amsterdam | Netherlands

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    Het Breed is a modernist neighbourhood defined by rational residential blocks, 5 stories with ‘streets in the sky’ in Amsterdam North designed by the architect Frans Van Gool in 1963.
    Our proposal ‘Gridgrounds’ creates an elongated public square of 88m x 17m, stretched across the central space so all paths converge here defining a new center for the neighbourhood. The asphalt square is based upon the original neighbourhood grid and the grid is made visual and tangible through the white marking lines running through the space. At the points of the grid we placed different play elements in-spired by the modernist playgrounds of Aldo van Eyck in Amsterdam. To create coherence all objects are painted Breedveld orange and blue, two colours that have been used in a recent renovation of the adjacent buildings. Through the cohesion of the colour, each object achieves a new identity, independent works that collectively form an open-air museum of play elements.

    The austerity and monotony of the context is broken by the new playscape while employing the same ele-ments and the layout of the Van Gool plan.
    The square is framed by the grid of plane trees and grass and planting along the sides, the rectilinear form is punctured at three points by two green circles (active play space developed with local schools and pas-sive green space that acts as a sustainable drainage point) and a rectangular multifunctional sports court.
    Given the very limited budget we chose to focus on primarily creating a good functioning public space, a meeting point for all residents at the centre of the neighbourhood. The careful placement of the elements creates different gathering points for groups big or small. Our material palette takes inspiration from road infrastructure, considerably cheaper than usual open space design materials, asphalt surfaces, white road marking lines and “traffic orange” (Ral 2009) and “traffic blue” (Ral 5017) colours. Colourful landmarks make the space identifiable from a distance, an important factor in children’s spatial awareness.
    The low cost materials don’t compromise the quality of the space and the range of possible activities, but rather –here in Breedveld- create a solid and durable playscape that can be use in many unpredictable ways by the many visitors, with a relatively limited economical investment.



  2. Ballyfermot Playground
    Dublin | Ireland

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    The Lawns are an important green space at the centre of Ballyfermot. Defined by large meadows, several prominent trees and some sports fields. But, as often happens, there is a lack of Identity and lack of variety in terms of playing types and sport facilities. Our proposal aims to propose a method to define a  new strong character for central public space. The Playground becomes part of a designed green belt around the sport area, than interacts with the city by fragmentation, creating new pockets spaces than can host different uses and activities. The project is organize around 3 central paved spaces surrounded by designed green spaces where the landscape becomes integral part of the play-scape. Users can explore and experience a variety of scenarios carefully organized in order to enhance interactions between different age and social groups.



    With the Ballyfermot Playground we address how the whole park could develop in the coming years, with the play park as a catalyst for the wider area. The plan fits into the framework, defining its North-East corner. Next we imagine the Lawns being defined by 3 different layers: The Green Belt, the Sport Core and the Green Mile.


    A series of paths connect the play park to the lawns, Le Fanú Road and the Plaza in front of the Leisure Centre. The Green Mile runs through the plan and traverses the main skate space. Carved out of the paths we have defined three Play Plazas. These spaces form the central meeting points in the plan and are designed to accommodate different user groups and types of play.  Finally we have the green spaces, each of which differs in its character, function and planting types.




    The Pallyfermot Park is organized around 3 main plazas- The largest is the Skating and BMX Plaza in the south of the plan. The primary users here will be older children and teens on BMX’s, skateboards and scooters and there is plenty of place for everyone to watch the action. A second space for younger children and families sits close to the entrance and in the shelter of the Leisure Centre. Finally a small pocket space under the trees caters for parents who would like to sit and keep an eye on their children exploring the Wild play area.





  3. Into the Wild
    The Hague | Netherlands

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    Play is about finding ones place in the world and making sense of that world. We have created a plan that seeks to juxtapose two different worlds. The man made and the natural. The plan has an urban exterior and a wild natural interior, each space contains a different type of play.

    The formal exterior is a place for sports and structured ordered games, while inside the wild interior children are encouraged and free to construct and destruct their own play spaces using natural materials. A boundary “ribbon” between the two worlds wraps and protects the interior, while adapting towards the exterior to allow games and integrate traditional playground elements. This “ribbon” is the threshold, a place where children learn to move between the natural world and the man made world. The relationship between the man made and natural worlds is the essence of sustainability, forming an understanding of this dialogue through participatory play and creative interaction is an essential childhood experience currently missing in many urban areas.



















    The Ribbon separates the artificial and paved exterior from the internal natural part. Its shape creates a variety of pockets spaces that can interact with the urban context; it’s 3-dimensional character give to the ribbon extra playful quality, in-fact it can be climbed, crossed with a tunnel or slide, it serves as a sitting element and as a skating grind, and much more.



    In exterior area, lines create the matrix for a playful and active appropriation of the space. Some sport fields are defined, but the lines also create an abstract pattern that can be interpreted and can serve to set new rules and boundaries for new games.