Play
Building imaginations

A new book – Learn for Life, New Architecture for New Learning – explores learning spaces that are pushing the boundaries of architecture. We take a look at some of the truly inspiring playgrounds featured

Base Camp

Location: Strand, Norway
Architects: Helen & Hard

Base Camp introduces 12- to 15-year-old children to outdoor and camping activities through a dynamic architectural intervention. Comprised of interactive, nomadic structures, this project encourages children to play, learn and explore. Tree Camp consists of six cocoons hung around living trees, providing shelter for camping children. Four cocoons are connected by a hanging bridge, which leads into a larger pod where children can meet and prepare food.

In Mountain Wall, children sleep inside a steel structure attached to a steep rock, while Water Camp houses children in hammocks on a covered quay.

 



The cocoons are connected by hanging bridges
 


Tree Camp provides shelter in the form of six cocoons
 
 


Tree Camp (all pictures, this page) Water Camp and Mountain Wall make up Base Camp
 
Imagination Playground

Location: New York, USA
Architect: Rockwell Group

The result of seven years of research, development, focus groups and testing, Imagination Playground stands as a breakthrough play-space concept that encourages child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on small, individual parts, this project offers a changing array of elements that allow children to constantly reconfigure their environment and design their own course of play. This unique playground provides a flexible environment for many types of imaginative activities through the incorporation of multilevel spaces with large sand and water features and a variety of toys and tools.
 


by Rockwell Group©Gestalten 2012

Elements include cascading water channels, masts and pulleys
The Sperm Whale at the North Sea Oceanarium

Location: Hirtshals, Denmark
Architect: Monstrum

The first stage of a larger North Sea Oceanarium playground, this sperm whale serves as the central point for the project. The whale, which can be traversed both inside and out, offers decorative drawings of its internal organs from within and glimpses of its white ribs along the side. Fitted with ladders, stairs, and other climbing areas, the whale can also be entered through the mouth across the teeth. Small holes run along the side of the whale doubling as both peepholes and climbing grips.
 


BY MONSTRUM FROM LEARN FOR LIFE ©GESTALTEN 2012

Children can climb inside and look out of the whale's eyes
Rasmus Klump Land

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Architect: Monstrum

Located in the heart of Copenhagen in Tivoli, this play space takes its formal approach from the adventure stories of a Danish comic strip. The playground incorporates numerous water elements, maritime themes, and a large whale, around which many challenges and activities await. From rock hopping to rope climbing, the playground offers excitement for toddlers through to adolescents.
 


rom Learn for Life©Gestalten 2012

The playground is based on a story in which Rasmus Klump and his friends sail their ship onto an island
 


rom Learn for Life©Gestalten 2012
The park also features a submarine, a raft and a lighthouse
 
Onion Pinch

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Architects: Caterina Tiazzoldi, Nuova Ordentra & Benamor Duarte Architecture

Appearing first in a Lisbon subway station and then moving across greater Europe, this organically shaped cork installation serves as a unique public playground for all ages. The flexibility of the cork results in a series of 15 tactile and dynamic pinched spaces that inspire user interaction and fluctuate between shelter, hammock and open space. Internal paths between the onion profiles add additional pathways for children to run, walk, climb, lay and rock on.
 


FROM LEARN FOR LIFE©GESTALTEN 2012

Different types and thicknesses of cork were used
Woods of Net

Location: Ninotaira, Japan
Architects: Tezuka Architects Takaharu & Yui Tezuka

This colourful, permanent pavilion serves as a tactile and whimsical children’s play space. Designed for and hand knitted by artist Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam, the project confounds distinctions between indoor and outdoor space. Suspended within a loosely stacked wooden structure, the main net space attracts children while their parents occupy the more understated wooden perimeter.
 


©GESTALTEN 2012

Woods of Net
Geopark

Location: Stavanger, Norway
Architects: Helen & Hard

Situated in the heart of Norway’s oil industry, Geopark combines the expertise and material resources of the offshore rigs with sustainable urban development. The park provides a playful urban space on the waterfront, utilising a vacant forecourt adjacent to the Oil Museum. This multipurpose geo-landscape accommodates biking, skating, climbing, exhibitions, concerts, sports and relaxation. Constructed out of recycled elements from petroleum installations, abandoned oil platforms, off-shore bases, and scrap heaps, Geopark transforms the formerly abandoned site into a bustling social meeting point.
 


©Gestalten 2012

Geopark has become a social meeting point, used by children, adolescents and adults
 


©Gestalten 2012
The park has been made from recycled materials
 
Learn for Life

New Architecture for New Learning is a diverse collection of inspiring architecture and interiors showing new interpretations of schools, nurseries, universities, libraries and playgrounds. The book is available to buy from all good bookshops. www.gestalten.com
 



Learn for Life
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Leisure Management
2012 issue 4

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Building imaginations

Play

Building imaginations


A new book – Learn for Life, New Architecture for New Learning – explores learning spaces that are pushing the boundaries of architecture. We take a look at some of the truly inspiring playgrounds featured

Base Camp

Location: Strand, Norway
Architects: Helen & Hard

Base Camp introduces 12- to 15-year-old children to outdoor and camping activities through a dynamic architectural intervention. Comprised of interactive, nomadic structures, this project encourages children to play, learn and explore. Tree Camp consists of six cocoons hung around living trees, providing shelter for camping children. Four cocoons are connected by a hanging bridge, which leads into a larger pod where children can meet and prepare food.

In Mountain Wall, children sleep inside a steel structure attached to a steep rock, while Water Camp houses children in hammocks on a covered quay.

 



The cocoons are connected by hanging bridges
 


Tree Camp provides shelter in the form of six cocoons
 
 


Tree Camp (all pictures, this page) Water Camp and Mountain Wall make up Base Camp
 
Imagination Playground

Location: New York, USA
Architect: Rockwell Group

The result of seven years of research, development, focus groups and testing, Imagination Playground stands as a breakthrough play-space concept that encourages child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on small, individual parts, this project offers a changing array of elements that allow children to constantly reconfigure their environment and design their own course of play. This unique playground provides a flexible environment for many types of imaginative activities through the incorporation of multilevel spaces with large sand and water features and a variety of toys and tools.
 


by Rockwell Group©Gestalten 2012

Elements include cascading water channels, masts and pulleys
The Sperm Whale at the North Sea Oceanarium

Location: Hirtshals, Denmark
Architect: Monstrum

The first stage of a larger North Sea Oceanarium playground, this sperm whale serves as the central point for the project. The whale, which can be traversed both inside and out, offers decorative drawings of its internal organs from within and glimpses of its white ribs along the side. Fitted with ladders, stairs, and other climbing areas, the whale can also be entered through the mouth across the teeth. Small holes run along the side of the whale doubling as both peepholes and climbing grips.
 


BY MONSTRUM FROM LEARN FOR LIFE ©GESTALTEN 2012

Children can climb inside and look out of the whale's eyes
Rasmus Klump Land

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Architect: Monstrum

Located in the heart of Copenhagen in Tivoli, this play space takes its formal approach from the adventure stories of a Danish comic strip. The playground incorporates numerous water elements, maritime themes, and a large whale, around which many challenges and activities await. From rock hopping to rope climbing, the playground offers excitement for toddlers through to adolescents.
 


rom Learn for Life©Gestalten 2012

The playground is based on a story in which Rasmus Klump and his friends sail their ship onto an island
 


rom Learn for Life©Gestalten 2012
The park also features a submarine, a raft and a lighthouse
 
Onion Pinch

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Architects: Caterina Tiazzoldi, Nuova Ordentra & Benamor Duarte Architecture

Appearing first in a Lisbon subway station and then moving across greater Europe, this organically shaped cork installation serves as a unique public playground for all ages. The flexibility of the cork results in a series of 15 tactile and dynamic pinched spaces that inspire user interaction and fluctuate between shelter, hammock and open space. Internal paths between the onion profiles add additional pathways for children to run, walk, climb, lay and rock on.
 


FROM LEARN FOR LIFE©GESTALTEN 2012

Different types and thicknesses of cork were used
Woods of Net

Location: Ninotaira, Japan
Architects: Tezuka Architects Takaharu & Yui Tezuka

This colourful, permanent pavilion serves as a tactile and whimsical children’s play space. Designed for and hand knitted by artist Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam, the project confounds distinctions between indoor and outdoor space. Suspended within a loosely stacked wooden structure, the main net space attracts children while their parents occupy the more understated wooden perimeter.
 


©GESTALTEN 2012

Woods of Net
Geopark

Location: Stavanger, Norway
Architects: Helen & Hard

Situated in the heart of Norway’s oil industry, Geopark combines the expertise and material resources of the offshore rigs with sustainable urban development. The park provides a playful urban space on the waterfront, utilising a vacant forecourt adjacent to the Oil Museum. This multipurpose geo-landscape accommodates biking, skating, climbing, exhibitions, concerts, sports and relaxation. Constructed out of recycled elements from petroleum installations, abandoned oil platforms, off-shore bases, and scrap heaps, Geopark transforms the formerly abandoned site into a bustling social meeting point.
 


©Gestalten 2012

Geopark has become a social meeting point, used by children, adolescents and adults
 


©Gestalten 2012
The park has been made from recycled materials
 
Learn for Life

New Architecture for New Learning is a diverse collection of inspiring architecture and interiors showing new interpretations of schools, nurseries, universities, libraries and playgrounds. The book is available to buy from all good bookshops. www.gestalten.com
 



Learn for Life

Originally published in Leisure Management 2012 issue 4

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