Kirkenes School Playscape, Steinsvik Arkitektkontor, Norway, 2013

For a project in the most northeastern part of Norway–as far east as Istanbul–Steinsvik Architects designed a playground that captures the sun:  pinning it down as a faceted orange climbing wall that spills out onto free flowing play hills.

It is a unique challenge to make an outdoor playscape in such a cold climate, and there must be shelter:  an arcade partially covers the climbing walls whose triangulated vertical surfaces actually become a warmer microclimate in the low solar angles of the far north.  A passive solar playground; great concept.   The orange flows out into the scattered playground forms,making  a striking contrast with the snow.  The arcade is used for outdoor teaching as well as just hanging out, and play can flow to the bike and skateboard friendly concrete forms as well.

Well done by Steinsvik, who share credit for their great project with  “the teachers and in particularly the principals (who) were really important in their focus on how a good outdoor playground prevents kids pestering each other and instead supports them in constructive play and cooperation.  It was a really good process; good intentions from local authorities and teachers produced a good program and after a well-organized competition the chosen winner was not the cheapest and the contractor they got had good conditions for doing good work –  we do feel the result is positive and mirrors this good process.”

[thanks for sending, Mari!]


2 Responses to “Kirkenes School Playscape, Steinsvik Arkitektkontor, Norway, 2013”

  1. Paige Johnson said:

    I don’t always have layouts but in this case I do…I’ll add them into the post. Thanks for the feedback!

    February 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  2. Lynn Cadenhead said:


    I love this project but would like to see a plan of the whole area so i can see how all the areas and photos fit together. An overall plan showing layout is often (usually) missing from the Playscapes articles and yet the overall layout is critical to the success of a playground. Often i want to see just outside the frame of a photo and a plan would help as would more panorama photos as well as the detailed photos.



    February 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Leave a Reply