Lizard Country, Rathenow Germany, ZimmerObst, 2015

One of those delightful Gartenschau playgrounds is the “Lizard Country” constructed by ZimmerObst in Rathenow, Germany for one of the 2015 BUGA regional shows.  ZimmerObst (apologies in advance for the low-res photos from their website)  were responsible for construction on the previously posted Modern Castle Playground in Zulpich, and they’ve used similar faceting to add to the playability of the lizard’s body in this install.   Lizards, snakes and dragons are no stranger to the playground, but I particularly like how this design allows the creature’s body to essentially become the *entire* playscape, rather than just one element in it, as it bends and twists throughout the playable space.    The lizard’s tongue is a slide, and its tail has jets of water.  At points where it’s body appears to dip above or beneath the sand (note:  NOT rubber safety surfacing), rope and bridge features add climbable connectivity.

One of the best things about the garden show tradition in Germany is that the playgrounds constructed for the show generally stay in place, becoming a permanent addition to the landscape of the host city.  It’s a great overlap of interests between private capital and public works:  the garden show gets a crowd-pleasing, audience-increasing feature for the duration of the show (sometimes as long as 6 months), and the municipality gets a high-quality, design-focused playscape ever after.  If any of my Deutsch readers can tell me how the financing of this works, I’d love to know more.

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