Natural Playgrounds


photo by Alan Maskinphoto by Kevin Scottphoto by Kevin Scottphoto by Trevor Marczylophoto by Trevor Marczylo

Secret Garden Playscape, Olson Kundig and Do-Ho Suh, Uijeongbu, South Korea, 2012

The rise of the suburban shopping mall seems to have doomed the department store rooftop playground in the United States but it lives on in Asia, where  Alan Maskin of Olson Kundig Architects and Korean artist Do-Ho Suh have created a  something more that just a children’s play space; a ‘secret park’ on the rooftop of the Shinsegae store in Uijeongbu, South Korea. They consider  the garden “a prototype for how cities might grow in the future, turning the tops of buildings into public spaces and parks”, and its goal was to create a distinctive outdoor space for the entire family. “At the heart of the experience is a series of “outdoor rooms”—a tree house, maze garden, mist room, archaeological dig, bird’s nest, and elephant fountain. With sculptures by Suh and mechanical animals fabricated by local art students and craftspeople, the spaces in the garden were designed for discovery. Some of the garden’s content was – Read the rest…


Make Aldo Leopold's Bench for your ...

As you make your bench, with kid-power of course, everyone can learn about Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) who founded the field of Wildlife - Read the rest...

RFP for Natural Playground from Chi...

And speaking of RFP’s…the Children’s Harbor Montessori School in New York got in touch with their RFP for a natural - Read the rest...

Boulders done right in natural play...

The grant is in, so it is back to playgrounds (and sleeping…shout out to the National Science Foundation who really - Read the rest...

Tilts on the Playground, Kukuk, 200...

Playgrounds-should-not-be-flat means firstly utilizing or creating an interesting ground topography, but secondly it means bending and tilting the surfaces of - Read the rest...

Playground Nests, Kukuk, 2004-2014

It happens only rarely that I am impressed with a firm’s entire body of playground work. But Stuttgart-based Kukuk, founded - Read the rest...

Cherry Blossom Treehouse, Terunobu ...

No one does treehouses like the Japanese…this teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori for the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum in Hokuto was constructed specifically - Read the rest...

Radio Boston, Natural Playgrounds

Very happy to be on RadioBoston yesterday with Ruth Graham to discuss natural playgrounds…you can listen here!

Painted Logs for Natural Playscapes...

Nice way to add color to the natural playscape…targeted logs by Jacob Dahlgren My Ekman. [source]

Living Willow Pirate Ship, Harlow C...

Pirate ships are overdone on the playground but I love this ghostly woven willow version by Phil Bradley, at Harlow - Read the rest...

Reclaimed Trees for the Maggie Dale...

Reclaimed trees for the new Maggie Daley Park Play Garden in Chicago, drying off for installation later this year…I look - Read the rest...

Swings Should be Arbors

  So I’m working on an article about ‘accessible’ playgrounds in which this site, the Rusk Children’s PlayGarden for Interactive - Read the rest...

A Treed House of Play (from scraps!...

Treehouses in botanical gardens typically, and appropriately, defer to the tree; refusing to damage it with traditional elevated designs. So - Read the rest...

The Swing at the End of the World, ...

The Swing at the End of the World rewards hikers that make it to La Casa del Árbol (The Treehouse), - Read the rest...

I like the logs leaning against the rock wall of this natural-ish playground in Breton Woods, New Hampshire…interesting way to - Read the rest...

Kagome Sandpit, PPAG Architects, V...

The idea for this wonderful combination of willow weaving and sandpit came when PPAG realized that the Museum Quarter’s request - Read the rest...

The $11,600 Adventure Playground at...

The story of this playground begins with a description of what could be a city park most anywhere: 14 acres, - Read the rest...

Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural E...

So when I visited the new ‘Natural Exploration’ Area at Prospect Park in Brooklyn I kept thinking about my first posts - Read the rest...

Tumbling Bay Playground, Queen Eliz...

In the shadow of Anish Kapoor’s..umm…’thing’ (the Eiffel Tower with body dysmorphia) is a much nicer construct: the new Olympic - Read the rest...

Natural Playground Ideas from Earth...

Whew…after many international flights and a broken laptop I am at last back to blogging! And before we leave Earthscapes - Read the rest...

Playhouse made from Recycled Doors,...

Earthscape, natural play-makers in Toronto, Canada, have designed this playhouse from recycled doors as part of a small natural play - Read the rest...

Pocket Playscape for Supervised Vis...

Another one of the very early features on Playscapes–back when a google search for ‘natural playgrounds’ turned up about three - Read the rest...