A Toddlers Playground, by Espace Libre, in Alfortville, France. When children play in the open air, they experience life to the fullest, all of their senses being stimulated in the most amazing ways. “A Toddlers Playground” is the kind of project that you understand from the start, being designed and realized for children. Thanks to the talented team of architects from Espace Libre, the town of Alfortville, France, now has an incredible playground, a perfect environment in which toddlers can develop their broad and fine motor skills. The project was completed in 2014, covering an area of 2,500 square meters and having a budget of 400,000 euro. What resulted was a playground filled with color and elements of creativity.
A Toddlers Playground
One cannot design a space intended for children without taking into consideration what children actually need. In going through with the project, the team of architects from Espace Libre has gone beyond that scope, performing extensive research on children and how they perceive space. It was this thorough research process that allowed the French architects to create a space that suits the concept of early childhood development to perfection.Fun and Fuctional Looking at how the playground turned out in the end, it is quite obvious that every element has been considered in regard to how fun and yet functional it actually is. Children have the opportunity to engage in numerous activities in this space, developing skills that are essential for the future. Generous Space Divided in a Creative Manner As the architects had a generous amount of space to play with, it should come as no surprise that they also managed to divide it in the most creative way possible. A quick glance over the playground will reveal three main areas: plot, adult area, and children area. The interesting thing is that each space has its own designated functionality, which manages to successfully integrate into the overall use of the playground. The Use of Micro Altitudes One of the most interesting demonstrations of creativity relates to the use of various micro altitudes. There are shooting steps, slopes, and hollow elements that children are definitely attracted to, allowing them to enjoy the numerous physical activities provided in the designated area. Moreover, the choice of micro altitudes contributes to the overall visual aesthetic appearance. The Importance of Using Mulitple Materials It is also interesting to see the wealth of materials that have been used in the project and how they contrast with one another. Among these materials, one can find the practical concrete that kids can use as a giant drawing board, as well as the soft soil and grass that allow for an instant connection with one’s senses. An Incredibly Colourful Experience The beauty of this playground lies in how colorful it is, with shades of red and beige, blue and yellow, green and brown being used on different elements. There are also different textures to discover, appealing first and foremost to the tactile sense. Playground Contributes to the Development of Children’s Sensory Skills The multitude of elements used in making this playground definitely contributes to the development of children’s sensory skills. Children can walk on different surfaces, enjoying the variety of textures presented to them. They can listen to the hissing sounds that come from the playground furniture and enjoy the way light reflects through the transparent structures. As you look throughout the playground, you can see how much thought has been put into this project and how this diverse area is more than a suitable place for toddlers. Taking in Information Through the Senses Toddlers take in a lot of information about the environment through their senses. They use the tactile sense in order to discover textures and understand different objects. On the other hand, they rely on the senses of hearing and seeing in order to orientate themselves in a new surrounding. All of the senses provide information and a playground like this one allows toddlers to instantly draw the information they need for the development of sensory skills. Great Choice of Vegetation Even though this is a space designed for children, the architects working on the project have gone with the concept of abundant vegetation. There are different types of trees and shrubs, not to mention a wealth of grasses and perennials. In choosing the vegetation, the architects have considered the benefits offered to children and adults. All of this vegetation generates a lot of oxygen, reducing the negative consequences of pollution. Choosing the Correct Vegetation There is one more aspect to consider and that is related once more to the sensory development of children. The vegetation chosen for this project appeals to the different senses of the children, allowing them to develop the necessary sensory skills. The tactile sense is stimulated by the touching of different grasses, such as Panicum, Imperata, or Spodiopogon. The sense of smell is enticed, as children can smell lavender, oregano, or verbena. Last, but not least, the sense of taste is developed, with choices such as sage, mint, and thyme being available here. In conclusion, this is one great playground to bring your kids, providing a wealth of stimulation and helping him develop in a correct manner. There are plenty of opportunities for physical movement, generous quantities of fresh air, and colorful elements for the kids to enjoy. Plus, adults will find the area to be relaxing and perfect for warm summer afternoons.
Full Project Credits:
Landscape Architecture: Espace Libre Location: Alfortville Design Year: 2013 Year of Construction: 2014 Area: 2500 m² Budget: 400 000 euros
- Landscape Architecture: An Introduction by Robert Holden
- Landscape Architecture, Fifth Edition: A Manual of Environmental Planning and Design by Barry Starke
Article written by Alexandra AntipaPublished in