Vondelpark Playscape, Aldo van Eyck and Carve, 1968 and 2010

I’m traveling again (microscopy and microanalysis conference) so slow posting but in my absence the blog has quietly ticked past one million page views.  Wow, thanks!  Especially since I don’t do anything to try to increase the views…I personally find those ‘read more’ buttons SO annoying.

All celebrations here at playscapes involve Aldo van Eyck, who–if you’re just joining us–constructed over 700 playgrounds in Amsterdam after World War II and inspired this blog.   One of those playgrounds was at Vondelpark, where he installed two of his characteristic circular play areas, this time surrounded by extensive garden plantings, in 1968.

To add adventure to the park and extend the age ranges engaged with the playscape the dutch firm Carve added two towers between the van Eyck circles.  The towers offer a range of challenges to children of different ages and abilities–netted interiors, high and low slides and an elevated crawlway.

In another area of the park, Carve added a a challenging 75-meter long canopy walk where platforms and nettings are used to intensify the feeling of vertigo and adventure, and safety surfacing is intentionally minimized in favor of natural wood chips. As the trees in which the walk is embedded grow taller it will disappear into the canopy, becoming in the summer a secret space amongst the leaves.

I especially love how this playscape respects the history of the park;  even the structure of the towers refers to an adjacent pavilion that was built in 1927 in an Indonesian colonial style.  Lifting the play above the ground not only adds adventure, it also leaves a small footprint that doesn’t compromise either the historic van Eyck outlines or the precious open space of this urban park.   Incorporation of  history and sense of place keeps design from being shallow, which is why I feature so much playground history on the blog!  Very well done by Carve, whose innovative outlook on play was one of the first designs featured here on playscapes.

And thanks to all you readers for being one of those million (well, at the time of this writing 1,004,787) page views!

One Response to “Vondelpark Playscape, Aldo van Eyck and Carve, 1968 and 2010”

  1. Ted B said:

    Your site is the most informative place for what can be done with a playground anywhere on or of the web. As one set of eyeballs who views it on occasion, thank you.

    August 11, 2011 at 3:32 am

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