1127 childrens playspace

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Designing a space for children means understanding the perception of the space from their experiential point of view. We know that children will rather relate to function instead of geometry unless it is possible to activate the space through functions and primary geometries. As designers we had to challenge ourselves and ask a number of questions during the design process. How can the built environment relate to children’s imagination, cognitive development, and aesthetic appeal?  Is it possible to merge aesthetics and function for a space that appeals to children? The action of play for them is impulsive, relentless, and improvised, and still at the social core of their development. Playgrounds, whether indoor or open-air, are inspired by desirable scenarios where aesthetic merges with functionality for a child-appealing narrative. Our project wants to be an inspiration for the children but not an organizing device, and for this purpose, we have chosen nature as a context scenario to build a story for the space.

The design revolves around singular objects characterized by primary geometries, each one performing an action deployed into the main space. A semicircular “tunnel” — that recalls Noguchi’s Contoured Playground — manipulates the topography lifting the ground while walking through the passage with its porous walls that offers the opportunity to perceive the light and the elevation from the ground. A cylindrical space makes its reference to a tree-house, where children can climb a set of steps to observe the space outside filtered by a green mesh that simulates the effect of the leaves. Another translucent object suspended from the ceiling alludes to an igloo where you can experience this very peculiar light condition. The indoor architecture will become an internalized landscape of events aimed at simulating the change of season or the effect of the light through snow, amplifying the ludic experience like in Aldo Van Eyck and Noguchi playgrounds.

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Client: With Alacrity
Area: 875 sqf / 81 sqm
Status: Realized, 2020
Team: Alessandro Orsini, Nick Roseboro, Giorgia Gerardi
Fabrication: Thirdkind Studio
Photography: Cameron Blaylock