When recalling our early playground memories, we remember how awe inspiring the equipment actually was, when seen from a child’s perspective. Often we look back at “the slide that was higher than a two story building” or “the bottomless sandbox” and how we begged our parents to bring us back. This obviously comes from the physically smaller size we have as children, but the impact of such a structure still stays in our mind well into adulthood. While the mythical endless slide is harder to come by these days, some modern architects are eliciting our youthful imagination in other creative ways. Whether it’s in size, scale, or creativity, these are some play structures you’ll definitely want to see.
Firstly, check out the scale that’s implied in the “Monster’s Footprints” structure by MAD architects in Shenzhen, China. When viewed from a higher level, it forces you to imagine that a 25 story monster had recently strolled by. The undulating ground in the “foot print” re creates the contours of the mythical beast, almost creating an alien like landscape.
A very similar whimsical landscape that you might remember from our previous blog posts is that at the Playa Vista central park playground. With its larger scale and sleek play structures dotted around, the space almost feels like a real life cartoon playscape.
Tom Otterness is another artist/designer that’s combing both the ideas of childhood whimsy and large scale character playgrounds. His large scale brass playground structures are shaped like seated thirty foot characters, that children are encouraged to climb all over. With ladders on the arms and slides on his legs, it’s hard not to think of a real life version of Gulliver’s Travels.
While innovative and creative design clearly knows no limits, there are still awe inspiring slides being made. We recently installed this 25 foot tube slide in an office building in Richmond, VA. Creating a fun way to quickly get to the bottom floor of the office, it brings back that childhood joy to the working adult.
This not only shows that the sense of whimsy and amusement a playground can provide stays with us well into adulthood, but that it can be incorporate into contemporary design as well!
Note: We play enthusiasts enjoy seeing and sharing different playground designs from around the world, but are by no means commenting on whether or not they meet the American playground safety standards.
Monster footprints: http://www.i-mad.com/?go/#artexh_details?wtid=0&id=5
Tom Otterness: http://www.tomostudio.com/exhibitions_silver.htmlComments
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