smart playgrounds make smart kids
smart kids make smart cities
smart cities make smart playgrounds
“…Aldo van Eyck playgrounds are something that all children growing up in Amsterdam in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s are familiar with. They played in the concrete sandpits, hung upside down on the tumbling bars or invented games in the igloo shaped climbing frames” (*).
Those were very smart playgrounds.
In 1947, the municipality of Amsterdam commissioned Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck with the design of playground areas in a growing city that was not yet equipped with safe and functional playgrounds.
The appointment of the Dutch architect, and the centralised approach of the municipality on this project, proved both to be good decisions for Amsterdam’s urban development. At that time, picking out playground equipment from commercial catalogues was not an option, therefore Van Eyck and his team had to think when working on this task. The results, were playground areas and structures existing in great harmony with the surrounding urban context and architecture. Between 1947 and 1978, over 700 playground areas across the city of Amsterdam were thoughtfully designed and realized:
“…that together created a web throughout Amsterdam, giving children their own recognizable domain in the city”.
Of those seven hundred smart playgrounds, only a few have survived to this day. I am sure of only 17. And a half.
(*) From “Aldo van Eyck, Seventeen Playgrounds“ - Denisa Kollarova and Anna van Lingen, Ed. Lecturis, 2016
Boy and Girl, 2017 - SOLD
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