The Designboom Playground
From a zeppelin-inspired teahouse to a mirrored evocative playground, designers are reimagining play for children with an abundance of imagination. This augmented reality film highlights some of these cool spaces.
A recent study found that innovative playgrounds attracted significantly more users and generated 2.5 times more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared to traditional playgrounds. To maximize use, it’s important to consider context and prioritize innovation when designing a new playground.
Playground colors are one of the most influential aspects of a playground’s overall design. From nature-inspired shades to urban tones, the playground color palette is a key element in encouraging children to interact and explore.
emmanuelle moureaux used the archetypal house shape as an underlying theme for her indoor playground for children in norteshopping mall, ibaragi prefecture, japan. a continuous form extends from wall openings to seven miniature houses for kids to explore.
ecoLogicStudio’s airbubble in warsaw combines architecture and ecology, utilizing a translucent ETFE membrane to filter and regulate the space’s microclimate. the structure also encourages natural ventilation and air recirculation.
giulio vesprini’s’super space’ is a large urban trace that can be seen from above and becomes a characterizing place for the community. its combination of intricate shapes and vibrant tones attracts locals.
When children play, they use powerful imaginations to transform their surroundings. Using simple tools, they create imaginative and fun games that can be played anywhere without the need for expensive or specialized equipment.
With a focus on fostering community participation, a project by McCloy + Muchemwa is reimagining the urban landscape for kids. Located along a safe pedestrian street, the project transforms this business-oriented part of town into an interactive playground where children can meet and interact.
In a playful reinterpretation of Brutalist architecture, the collective Assemble and Simon Terrill designed a cushy reconstituted foam landscape that calls into question the way playgrounds are currently positioned as safe spaces for children to roam free. The landscape features circuits, entries, soft barriers and sightlines that offer children the sense of freedom and exploration they require.
Light is an essential part of the playscape and can create a range of different emotions. for example, the’red planet’ designed by 100architects uses bold geometric shapes to create a playful interaction with visitors in one of the largest public spaces in shanghai.
meanwhile, architensions’ children’s playground in brooklyn draws inspiration from the natural world and precedents in playground design. the resulting structure recalls movement through woodland forts, dappled sunlight streaming through trees, and the sun reflecting off snow.
for her installation at perspective playground, sally west combines color and lighting to create a series of curated atmospheres that engage visitors on a physical, psychological, and emotional level. she hopes that the symbiotic relationship between these elements will inspire visitors to find their own personal meaning and value in the work.
Playgrounds have a way of breathing life into the surrounding urban landscape. McCloy + Muchemwa’s design demonstrates this in an urban experiment that transforms a pedestrian street into a dynamic playground, bridging a common ground for children and city workers.
Located on the 7th floor of an office building, employees can let their energy loose with a bouldering wall that overlooks Amsterdam and a gymnastic structure that combines benches for pull-ups with a network of bars where they can hang upside down. They can also test their balance on a slack line or with custom-designed tools that allow them to stand, stretch, roll, or lie down.
Madrid-based multidisciplinary creative Emilio Alarcon conceives playful arrangements of various sizes that embody different arrangements dedicated to children’s recreational games. He uses midjourney, a text-to-image generator, to render the structures in vibrant colors.
The Urban Playground combines a variety of forms that offer different spatial experiences. The skeletons are constructed using CNC-cut OSB boards, with the cladding consisting of natural materials with low embodied carbon. The design offers a balanced approach to robustness, safety, and aesthetics.
Giulio vesprini’s ‘super-space’ is a large urban trace, visible from above that attracts the attention of passersby. The project revitalizes a business-oriented pedestrian street by injecting it with playful elements and inviting children and city workers to explore its form. It’s a vibrant example of how color can be used to define new defined paths towards beauty and vitality.