Guldberg Town Square Playscape, Nord Architects Copenhagen, 2011

Hans Ohler’s “white tube” sculpture isn’t the only great play feature in the Guldberg town square of Sjællandsgade in the Nørrebro section of Copenhagen.  I also like the way this scheme, by Nord Architects Copenhagen, integrates ball sports (basketball and soccer) rather than segregating them out, which has the effect of keeping teens in the playscape, and allows play equipment to become grandstands.  Also note how steep the shoulders of the hill slide are (love the steep!)  and the way a narrow curb, which could easily have been left with no play value, is littered with enticing boulders.  That’s an idea you could put to use in many a forgotten strip of space.   Who cares if weeds grow up into it?  The kids will like that even better.   And even though this is a high traffic space with lots of safety surfacing, cut-outs were made for dirt and sand.

Guldberg square was closed to traffic to create this space, which serves as town square AND public playground AND the yard for the Guldberg School! I love that combination, and wish more towns would adopt the attitude that play doesn’t have to be segregated from other civic life.  Build one space, for everybody!  Let’s reduce fences, both physical and metaphorical, on the playground.

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