29 April 2010

Street as Playground Inspiration

A post about a new playground in Paris was forwarded to me by a reader. I really like custom designed playgrounds, especially when it's not all rubber surfaces. Apparently this playground has been wildly popular with the kids:

But the most fascinating part about this playground is not the hard surfaces or how wildly popular it is. The most fascinating tidbit is the designer's stated inspiration: A Willy Ronis picture from 1959 of kids playing in a street:
Belleville that was an inspiration for the playground:

Obviously, the "street" in the Ronis photo is not a typical street. It is full of levels, steps, different materials, surrounding shops and such. It is really a medieval type street in a old neighborhood of Paris. Actually I think it is not too far from the new playground site above. It is not a street designed by a traffic engineer. But although the street is extremely pedestrian friendly and kid friendly, it doesn't have any trees, benches or signage, things that today are assumed necessities.

Kids on the concrete:
Anyway, it brightened my day to see someone making these connections and thinking about playgrounds in a different way.


Anonymous said...

I love it. Very creative.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of a park we went to in SanFran. It was outside of the "Unmuseum." Maybe we could call playgrounds like this "Unplaygrounds." :)

VisuaLingual said...

Wow, that actually looks like a really fun playground, and I love that it's based on a real streetscape, rather than on some abstract notion of how and where kids should play.