Taka-Taku Land Preschool, Susan Hoffman Architects, Berlin, 2007


Inspired by one of my favorite childhood stories, Pippi Longstocking, this Berlin indoor-outdoor playspace is an interpretation of the hollow oak tree at Pippi’s house, which produces lemonade.
“The lemonade breaches the rough “bark” of the walls to flow outside. In the bark of the oak tree the children can climb, hide and nap. The playable space within the facade is well-cushioned and offers protection from all weather conditions. The luminous textile shines colourfully both on the outside and the inside. Within this space the children can lose themselves in play and fun within the lemonade world.”
I like the way the structure is climbing frame/ladder/slide/pillow all at once, and the feel of climbing out of a window (usually a forbidden experience for a child) and into the playspace must be irresistible.

There are seven stages to the lemonade tree:
“1 Glittering Lemonade in the Sun Light: to catch the sunlight and welcome friends. 2 Waiting for the Parents: to watch for the arrival of the parents, while interacting with the children inside in a lemonade glow. 3 Lemonade Gallery: to discover yourself and to show Mum and Dad your pictures in a lemonade illumination. 4 Lemonade Island: to have fun and delve and hide yourself in the lemonade. 5 The Bark Breaks Open: to play and have fun outside on rainy days 6 Delving into the Lemonade: to feel the world turn into lemonade while gliding around or relaxing. 7 Dreaming under the Apple Tree: to dream and share secrets.”
found via urbanpreschool; more photos (and other interesting work) at the Susan Hoffman Architects website.

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