PARKS&PLAYGROUNDS, PLAY

A new architectonic play equipment, by Matter Design

Which is the best design method to project a kids’ playground? Ask its future users. This is what Matter Design team did and here we show the result.

matter design playground

The Five Fields Play Structure was designed by Brandon Clifford of Matter Design, with Michael Schanbacher of FR|SCH Projects and graphics designer Johanna Lobdell

It is located on a piece of common land shared by residents of Lexington’s Five Fields neighbourhood.

It was conceived as an experiment and the community, wishing to keep the experimental spirit alive, requested a structure that is both safe and exhilarating for the kids.

matter design playground

“They wanted something that would challenge the kids without any singularly functional elements.”

matter design playground

Set on a sloped site, the play structure is made up of a series of cuboid sections all clad in the same light-coloured timber. These elements slot together and connect at various points, creating routes with rope obstacles to be conquered along the way.

One of the boxes forms a tall lookout, while another provides a jump-off point for a zip wire. The whole structure is scaled to ensure children can pass through with ease, but adults can still gain access in case of an accident.

At these points, users can shimmy up through a vertical tube or pull themselves up onto a ledge, while architectural elements elsewhere like stairs and doors lead to nowhere.

matter design playground

matter design playground

A great playground, and a great design method. Because who knows better how it has to be a playground than its future users?