Playgrounds and the Pritzker Prize

Architecture’s top prize for 2016 has been awarded to Alejandro Aravena of Chile, executive director of Santiago-based ELEMENTAL, a “Do Tank,” (as opposed to a think tank…love that concept).  In the publicity heralding the prize, it has been heartening to see a playground prominently featured! I know of no other Pritzker prize winner whose body of work includes a playscape at all, much less a monumental children’s park with a hill of slides and a wall of play like ELEMENTAL designed for Santiago.  I previously featured the Bicentennial Children’s Park here on Playscapes in 2014, but here’s another look at it in honor of the prize; also don’t miss a video of it available on VIMEO (privacy settings won’t allow me to embed it).

As part of the adjudication process the Pritzker jury visits all the sites.   I hope that their visits, and the award itself, increase recognition within the architectural community that playgrounds are a significant part of the built environment and worthy of their best efforts.

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