Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How the latest playgrounds are making child’s play fun again

How the latest playgrounds are making child’s play fun again - The Globe and Mail

Helle Nebelong and a number of other prominent contemporary designers talking about the renaissance of common sense and adventure playgrounds in Europe and the US. We may get back to it in another 50 years.

Evergreen’s Toronto Brick Works

This is an eclectic play space that feels as wild as the postwar adventure playgrounds – less dangerous, but liberating. The presence of nature here, Nebelong argues, is crucial. “If you ask children what they want, … they have lots of ideas about bushes and trees where they can pick apples,” she says. “It’s a grownup approach that all things to do with childhood should be colourful, and have heavy equipment and horrible rubber in lots of colours.”..........
Beginning in the 1970s, driven partly by a handful of lawsuits from the parents of injured children, official opinion began to focus on what might go wrong. Safety regulations in the United States and Canada became stiffer and began to alter the landscape.“In some ways, the lawyers were designing the playgrounds,”

























Evergreen’s Toronto Brick Works

Monday, 17 November 2014

EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION TO CONNECT WITH NATURE: A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

parksjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PARKS-20.2-Lopoukhine-et-al-10.2305IUCN.CH_.2014.PARKS-20-2.NL_.en_.pdf

A great paper, well worth the read.


"At the most basic of levels, we learned that plants and animals provided food, fibre and skins and so we tended them and cared for them. Our affiliation, however, goes deeper than addressing the biological necessities of life. Nature has provided spiritual, aesthetic, and philosophical pillars for the growth and expression of human culture."

Monday, 3 November 2014

BBC News - Children 'prefer to play outdoors than watch TV'

BBC News - Children 'prefer to play outdoors than watch TV'

Read more from the link above


"As a consequence, street play is becoming increasingly rare, with parents citing traffic and stranger danger as reasons for keeping tabs on their children - either indoors or in the back garden."

Children themselves said they wanted to explore through unstructured, free-spirited play, with 67% preferring free play.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Tree House Renovation

 Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


'The Tree House Early Childhood Centre is an architecturally designed, purpose built early learning centre catering for children from 6 weeks to 5 years.'  The Centre has four separate playspaces spread over two different levels. The playspaces were new when the Centre was opened 5 years ago but were degraded and in need of A LOT of TLC. In addition, there were with problems with drainage and the base waterproofing had failed. After removing the old surfacing and installing drainage cells, new surfacing, replete with sub-soft fall where required, was installed.

The upper areas were divided into Active and Passive play areas. The Active area has a mound complete with slide and a climbing wall and an elevated balance beam. Because the playground is on an upper level the mound was specially constructed with light-weight materials. The passive area has an elevated smooth concrete sided sandpit (the elevation was required because of an inability to cut into the existing suspended slab and to meet the current regulations for a 500 mm depth) with a sandstone step and sandstone building platforms. Attached to the sandpit is a small dry creek bed with native plantings and a rattle bridge,  which leads to a small "yarning circle"/small group area. A water wall/ball run was included under the lean-to against the outside wall and there are drainage cells underneath permeable Stoneset fronting the area. An additional small group area has been built within a semicircle of varied height timber screening on the deck. A number of trees were planted in planters throughout the upper levels to provide natural shade Viewing windows in the upper levels were retained and included in the lean-to which provides shade and will be a scaffold for climbers. 

In the ground level Nature Reed was used to screen the playspaces from the street and provide a greater intimacy for the children and educators. 

The 2-3 years area has a scaled down mound, climbing wall and double slides, timber arbors, seats and a bridge that spans a dry creek bed which in turn circles a new sandstone edged sandpit. A sandstone water channel runs along the other side of the sandpit feeding into the sandpit. A pathway interspersed with native grasses connects to the other end of the playspace where there are interconnected dual cube cubby-houses that have perspex panels to let in light and turfed roofs. A vertical perspex art panel allows for two children to engage in collaborative painting. If you look very closely you may also see where I left my camera case.

The babies area has a low profile sandstone edged sandpit with a building platform, a small scale mound with slide, a toddler scale perspex table, and a multi-texture pathway. The plantings in the raised and level garden beds are both durable and sensory. There is a mirror panel attached to the entry fencing and a small multipurpose deck, both can be used for provocative and interactive experiences.


Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace

Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014















 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014
 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014



 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014



 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014

Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace

Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014


 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014















 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014


Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014


















Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014 














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014















             Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace

Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014














 Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014






Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014 














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014 


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014
 


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014 
Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014