The Australian firm of Taylor Cullity Lethlean is getting alot of internet attention for their new ‘Pod Playground’ at the National Arboretum in Canberra. Starting with the obvious idea of seeds, it tilts surfaces and exaggerates scales (ala Monstrum’s designs) in a slick 1.7 million construct, but my favorite feature is actually the wavy-edge used on the paths and steps. TCL has an interesting body of playground work that reads like a recent-history of architectural play design, beginning with an adventure/nature playground at the Quarries in Yarra constructed in 1992, well before it was cool to use stumps and rocks. Their innovative Carlton Playground (2000) was a postmodern interpretation of a garden maze, and one of the first posts on this blog! The Junior School Playground in Melbourne (2002) revisited the ideas of walls as play features in a more confined and younger space, and their intergenerational City Playscape in Adelaide (2009) is a climbable, sittable boneyard of concrete that still meets all safety standards for a ‘normal’ playground.
Many playground firms just repeat themselves, so I’m impressed by how varied TCL’s body of work is, and the Pod Playground is a great addition!