When recalling our early playground memories, we remember how awe-inspiring the equipment was to our child’ eye. Often we look back at “the slide that was higher than a two story building” or “the bottomless sandbox” and think of how we begged our parents to bring us back. Although this feeling comes in part from our child-sized perspective, there is a real impact of certain structures that stays in our minds 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.
Modern Playground Spotlight: Monster’s Footprints
First, check out the scale that’s implied in the “Monster’s Footprints” structure by the MAD architects (@) in Shenzhen, China. When viewed from a higher level, this modern playground forces you to imagine that a 25-story monster has recently strolled by. The undulating ground in the “footprint” recreates the contours of some mythical beast, almost creating an alien landscape.
Spotlight on Modern Playgrounds: Playa Vista Central Park
A very similar whimsical landscape that you might remember from our previous blog posts the Playa Vista Central Park playground. With its larger scale and sleek play structures, the space almost feels like a real-life cartoon playscape.
Spotlight on Modern Playgrounds: Tom Otterness
Tom Otterness’s (@) brilliance can’t be truly explored in a single of his play structures. He is an artist/designer who is combining both the ideas of childhood whimsy and large-scale character playgrounds. One of his bigger-than-life brass playground structures is shaped like seated thirty foot characters, which are impossible to resist climbing on. 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.
Spotlight on Modern Playgrounds: Goric Office Slide
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 a little childhood joy back into the workplace.
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.html