A Multi-purpose Playground in a Limited Space
Playgrounds: what is their purpose? Are they designed to bring variety to everyday family life; to offer visitors completely new and interesting experiences or maybe to create new ideas for stimulating children’s communication and minds?
What can really make a playground unique and educational and how to succeed in bringing all these features together in one space?
Here is one case study from the landscape bureau AFA. A multifunctional playground on a limited space in the center of Moscow.
Renome KID’S LAB
景观局AFA设计并建造了一个多功能的KID'S LAB区，位于精英住宅区 "Renome"。
Landscape bureau AFA designed and built a multipurpose KID’S LAB zone located in the elite residential complex «Renome».
AFA’s team has created spaces based on their research of children’s playing processes. The in-house psychologists analyzed typical patterns of behaviour in playgrounds and used these findings to design new facilities.
Renome KID’S LAB
The project was implemented on a piece of land only 10 meters wide and 60 meters long.
AFA has managed to divide the outdoor area into several sections to meet the interests and needs of different ages in each one. These spaces are not isolated, but follow and complement one another, so children of all ages can find something interesting at any point of the playground.
Children in a playground
Design for Children of Different Ages
A toddlers’ area (for children under three) is in the quietest place of the playground, where many play elements for developing fine motor skills and stimulating intellectual growth are set.
A toddlers’ area
A tactile panel has different natural pieces which can be touched and examined, and there is a «busy board» with locks and components, a car track and so on.
Everything is individually designed to appeal to the baby’s curiosity and mind.
A facility for children to explore
There are also benches and a small table for parents in the shaded corner, where they can sit with the stroller for example, or watch their baby on the playground — many options are available.
The next section is oriented more toward preschoolers and older children. .
A water area with a stream and trays on different levels is a key point in this space.
A device that interacts with water
The sandpit to experiment with dry and wet sand and a slate board is also distinctive of this part of KID’S LAB.
A special device here — a transforming model with gears — is a unique product which has been invented by AFA.
Gear wheels of different sizes and colours are held together and attached to the metal panels by magnets. Because of the magnets, children are able to build their own moving mechanism and can experiment with its length and rotation speed. The device has really been enjoyed by everyone.
A transforming model with gears
There is more mobility and an acceptable level of risk in the space for schoolers and teenagers.
4.5-meter tunnel slide
A tower with a voice pipe and direct access to the 4.5-meter tunnel slide is a key point of the area.
Next to it, there is a play platform and climbing complex with inclined slide, staggering bridge for balancing, and a rope track for going down. A swings and a trampoline are also a part of the space.
Environmentally Friendly Venue with Children Exploring
The playground is made of natural materials which are resistant to temperature changes and are suitable for all weather conditions.
Plants and flowerbeds in various combinations are set all around, not only for decoration but also to provide opportunities for environment exploration, and learning about plants.
In summary, while designing KID’S LAB the architects tried to create the most diverse space possible in a small area and implement the best compact solutions, so as not to overwhelm the space and to enable everyone to play different scenarios every day.
The KID’S LAB is the main attraction for children in the neighborhood, and the team’s great achievement is managing to create a multifunctional playground with a variety of zones and elements, where visitors can choose activities matching their interests and needs.
Landscape Architecture: AFA Group
Design year: 2020
Year Built: 2021
Photography: Anton Donikov
Project Location: Moscow / Russia
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