Constructed on the rooftop park of Marmara Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, a new open-air playground features unique windows that magically shift hues as the day passes, creating a world of enchantment for the kids.
New Allure Carve was asked to design for the playground for the rooftop terrace of Marmara Forum, which sits 24 metres above street level.
The terrace and the food court had been renovated to re-establish the Forum as a prominent shopping centre and it needed a new playground to complement the upgrade. The playground has areas designated to different age groups. Carve aimed at making a connection in the design through both form and experience by creating a space that alluded to being in the clouds, inspired by the height of the terraces.
With only limited spaces available compared to the amount of children that were predicted to visit the playspace, one of the starting points was to think about building tall structures with large volume that are fully playable from the inside.
The playground consists of four areas that cater to different age groups: from small to tall there is a toddler space, a climbing dome, a larger ensemble of spheres, and a near eight-metre-tall climbing tower with an internal slide.
The interior of the clouds is completely furnished with play elements. Children can climb, slide, lounge in a forest of hammocks, and experience height from behind a window looking at the city’s skyline or by looking down through the climbing nets.
The white paint of the play clouds was chosen to adapt to the weather changes: it appears bright white on a sunny day and grey on a rainy day. The usual concept is for a playground to have an abundance of colours, but Carve believes it is the children that give colour to the playground. The dichroic windows colour the interior and exterior of the play clouds and also give extraordinary colours to the world you see through the windows from within. Magical realism experienced by children in real life.
There were many technical challenges during the design and engineering process. For example, considering the size of in particular, the largest eight-metre tall construction and the load limits of the existing roof. This issue was creatively solved by designing a self-supporting structure on top of a constructive point, spreading the loads at the same time. The spheres of all of the play clouds together are constructed out of hexagonal and pentagonal panels, 275 different panels in total.
Local craftsmen produced, assembled and installed the double-curved stainless-steel panels with incredible precision. The importance of working with local partners but the more overstimulating local economy in a globalised world is evident to Carve. Making use of these locally embedded partners and their networks were key to a superb and timely realisation.
Looking up from street level 24 metres below you can see the sun glitter on the play clouds. At night the clouds, with white light radiating from behind the window frames, are a beacon that can be seen from the surrounding areas of Marmara Forum, making a stunning spectacle of lights.
Once the lockdowns are lifted the children will be able to get out and play with their heads in the clouds.
Via ArchDaily | Images © Asli Dayioglu