A perceptual playground built like a boat sits atop the roof of a preschool. A pattern implies (rather than prescribes) play zones with abstract geometric climbing, running, theatrical, and seating volumes that emerge from the playground’s surfaces, inviting imagination and simultaneous physical and visual engagement. 3D play elements pop up from and flatten onto 2D surfaces and horizontal merges with vertical; what one ‘sees’ varies.
The design synthesizes zones with custom play elements for gross motor, fine motor, sensory, and imaginative play through a pattern of primary shapes. Play spacing is calibrated in the pattern to encourage social and peer-to-peer play in relation to Early Education and Care safety fall zones. The materials and detailing of the design were specifically selected to withstand two major forces: preschoolers and New England seasonal swings.
1,500 sq ft | Arlington, MA | completed July 2019
aquatic rubber tile, HDPE plastic sheeting for custom play elements, Trex decking, cedar, chalkboard and exterior paint + tension-stretched sail cloth
Client: Springboard Schools, Inc.
Project Team: Brown Fenollosa Architects with Sever Construction – school @ 93 Broadway; Chase Wilke of Wilke Built – installation of playground decking and fencing; Bill Bancroft – fabrication of custom play elements
Photography: with Anita Kan / Representation: with Julia Mercedes Roberts