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Play Garland Oosterpark by Carve

The Oosterpark, built in 1891, is part of the Amsterdam 19th century extension girdle, and is the first large public park that was realised by the municipality. Since 2011, plans are being made to integrate the monumental public buildings in the northern zone into the park. The fences will be removed, the grass area will be extended and parts of the private property will be added to the public space of the park. As a result of this, the Oosterpark ‘doubles’ in size and merges the built and green part of the park into one. Additionally, new and existing public park functions were integrated into the park, in harmony with the existing design by Leonard Springer.


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One of these additions is the ‘Play Garland Oosterpark’, situated on a former functionless grass field in the north-western corner, in front of a former open air school. The 88 meter long play garland is an adventurous platform which is transformed to a play structure: an object that rises up, dives downwards and turns into a narrow line – and which creates an inner world by its distinctive shape.


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The simplicity of the object invites to run, climb and slide. Because the object rises up in the air considerably at several points, it is a particularly challenging roller coaster for children between 4-8 years old. The meandering movement creates a constantly changing perspective, which stimulates the interaction between above and below, and between inside and outside. The frailty of the tree roots asked for as little weight as possible, which is why the play object has been kept very light weight; only on a few points it actually touches the ground. At the entrances to the site, the object lifts up and creates an ‘arch’ that opens up towards the inner space.


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The dominant perception is that play objects should be as colourful as possible. This design tries to unite a dual thought. The main structure of the object is coated in the same colour as all new park elements – anthracite black. As a quip two coloured lines were added, which gradually change their colour. With this, the common ‘colour explosion’ is reduced to one long, continuous line – by which the object is visible throughout the park as a colour flash, without being dominant.


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Play Garland Oosterpark
Design: 2012 – 2015
Completion: January 2016
Client: Municipality of Amsterdam
Location: Oosterpark, Amsterdam
Size: 88 meter long play garland
Carve team: Elger Blitz, Thomas Tiel Groenestege, Lucas Beukers, Jasper van der Schaaf, Thijs van der Zouwen, Mark van der Eng, Marleen Beek
In collaboration with: Buro Sant en Co Landscape architecture

Photocredits: Carve (Marleen Beek, Jasper van der Schaaf)

For more information and high resolution images please contact Carve at news@carve.nl

Press release by Carve, reprinted with permission