Today, playgrounds can float entirely on the ocean, or take the shape of an enormous, colorful acorn. Below are just some of the play wonderlands from around the world that enchant children and inspired architects.
In Austria, Snøhetta Architects have created a four-storey tower on the grounds of Swarovski Kritallwelten. Arranged across four different levels, the playtower offers a wide range of play experiences for children of all ages. Rising 14 metres in height, the various floors are connected by a unique vertical net that allows kids to climb, slide or swing their way from floor to floor.
Proving that with a little ingenuity and tenacity almost anything can become a playground! In Lima, Peru, the ‘Ghost Train Park’ is a colourful obstacle course of varied design that is created almost entirely from recycled materials – including car parts and tires. Created by architecture collective Basurama, this park was constructed off the back of an unrealised railroad project. With a great deal of community participation, the urban park was brought to life with a giant climbing net, swings and even a zip line.
What list of fabulous playgrounds wouldn’t include a water wonderland! Located in Croatia, this water-based playground by Wibit Sports GmbH features swings, slides and climbing structures that create an island of fun you’d never want to leave.
Not to be outdone, Australia’s own capital hosts a playground of giant proportions. Set on the grounds of Canberra’s National Arboretum, the Pod Playground features a giant acorn slide and enormous banksia cones scattered about that are perfect for climbing. The National Arboretum is home to 100 forests of rare and endangered trees from around the world. The onsite playground reflects this important cultural purpose and provides an opportunity for children to creatively engage with their natural surroundings through the giant sized fantasy forest features.
Proving that not all playgrounds have to be located above ground, the Bounce Below playground is located in a former slate mine in North Wales. This subterranean adventure is comprised of a network of giant ‘trampolines’ linked together by walkways, tunnels and slides all made from netting. Hidden inside a giant disused cavern, the series of ‘bouncy nets’, strung up to 180m off the cavern floor, offers a unique play experience for adults and kids alike.
Images (top to bottom): Swarovski Kritallwelten, Austria; Ghost Train Park, Peru; Wibit Water Sports Park, Croatia; Pod Playground, Australia; Bounce Below, North Wales.