Playground Climber, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Schuff Steel and Perini Building Co., 2010

The interactive indoor playground at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is 37 ft tall and made of 50 tons of structural steel, every single one at a different angle.  They support a complex structure of canted wooden tunnels that ascend to the height of three stories, with stops along the way at a winged bathtub, a boat with dangling sneaker-clad legs, and even a rocket.  Wacky decor from recycled materials–goggly-eyed birds made from milk bottles, car doors and overturned trash cans–surround the space and the museum even ran a decorate-a-bottle-cap challenge to help raise funds and decorate the climber.  City Museum St. Louis-inspired, methinks…a great indoor play experience designed to be multi-generational;  parents can climb along with their kids.

Museum officials were inspired by the fact that the opportunity to climb a tree is a rare one in the desert landscape of Arizona.  The structural calculations on this colossal treehouse must have been intense, and it did, in fact, make ‘What’s Cool in Steel‘ (coolest list title ever).  I also like that it was designed by the builders and fabricators themselves; it was justly christened the SchuffPerini climber in their honor.

UPDATE: Thanks to the museum for letting me know that the designer for the Climber is Kevin Winters of Ganymede Design Group.

[images from azcentral and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.]

2 Responses to “Playground Climber, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Schuff Steel and Perini Building Co., 2010”

  1. Paige Johnson said:

    Thanks for the clarification Nancy! I’ll update the post. And congrats on your amazing climber!

    March 10, 2014 at 12:22 am

  2. Nancy Stice said:

    Hi Paige,
    What a nice surprise to see our Schuff-Perini Climber in the Playscapes blog. I just want to clarify that the designer for the Climber is Kevin Winters of Ganymede Design Group. Based in Phoenix, he is an amazing talent with a wild imagination and an absolute pleasure to work with. Schuff Steel and Perini Construction were instrumental in fabricating and installing the Climber with significant in-kind donations of materials, labor, expertise and connections to a myriad of other generous contractors, vendors and artisans. Building the Climber was truly a community effort. If you ever get to Phoenix, please come play with us!
    Thanks for recognizing the Climber,
    Nancy Stice
    Director of Exhibits

    March 09, 2014 at 10:50 pm

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