We were revising the greenery recommendations for our specialty hospital when the debate of adding a children's playground came up. We aren't a pediatrics specialty, but we do often get a lot of children coming by. It reminded me of the wooden playground of Bot. Sad. A recent element added to the botanical garden, which also did inspire some of my inputs in the meeting.
The theme of the playground stood out to me the most. It is wooden. But why? The playground is cleverly designed in respect to the climate of Kharkiv, as well as, adds to the garden. Since it is a botanical garden, plastic or metal playgrounds would not match the theme as much as a wooden playground would. It is a very creative solution to maintaining the theme.
The playground is mainly comprised of play houses with slides, swings, seesaws, tunnels and slopes. It also boasts primary shapes in the designs. The primary shapes immediately attract children of the targetted audience (up to 40 kg, i.e., up to 12 years of age) since that is what the children are mainly learning in school and stimulates their growing brains.
The primary shapes also help to maintain the playground during snow and rain. The snow and water can slide off the triangle and there is very little chance of stagnation on the games. It makes maintenance cheaper and is healthier for the kids.
One of the key targets of childrens' playgrounds is to be educational and stimulate healthy growth. The wooden playground of bot. sad. checks these boxes by cleverly integrating the primary activities of a snow-filled country. The slopes are a crowd favorite and it helps kids grow out of their fear of heights and speedy descents. Climbing ropes and tunnels are also part of the playground which not only allow the kids to run their imaginations rampant but also train them for the hiking they will do when they grow up.
I personally loved the dynamic design of the playground. Nothing is parallel. I think the architect attempted to encompass the spontaneousness of a child's mind. Nothing is parallel. They can hop from one game to another. Without ever needing to bump into anyone or wondering where to go next.
There are plenty of the same games scattered around the playground. As aforementioned, it truly lets the creative mind of a child run free. Were it be alone, or with friends, the randomness lets the children stimulate the creative corners of their minds and use the space to its full potential.
The playground itself is very spacious. It is located right in the middle of a bustling city. The size probably aims to accommodate the majority of the children of the area. Albeit most of the residential areas have their own small parks, most of them aren't equipped with a plethora of games like the wooden playground does. They do not, either, have the proper scale.
In the wooden playground, the scale is made to match the target audience. These aren't gigantic games, they are just the right size for the children of the age group, and just about the right size for any adult to feel uncomfortable if they play in them.
The playground cleverly uses aesthetics and themes to feature a well-designed boundary. The boundary is made of short tree stumps, which are relatively hard to notice at first but become obvious as a marking of the territory. They do not impede the theme of the playground and follow the same spontaneous design.
On the outer edges, they are spaced and linked with chains. In the inside, they are placed together, with a randomized height. It can be used as chairs for the guardians, or a place to play tea party at.
Playgrounds are now being given special importance in urban infrastructure nowadays. Even places like Dubai had their own share of problems with outside spaces for children for a long time. With the growing concrete jungle, playgrounds get a little of the limelight in the blueprints. However, they are key to the proper, healthy, functional growth of children.
In the past, parking lots and sandy areas of the cities were substituted for playgrounds. Nowadays, there are more and more playgrounds popping up in Dubai. The same in Ukraine. A huge part of the budget is being redirected towards parks and playgrounds, and rightfully so.
The wooden park of Bot. Sad. tackles the modern problems head first. It doesn't leave room for children not to want to come back to this place. It is spontaneous, it is fun, it is attractive to the children. When summer comes they can pluck berries from the botanical garden and dig the playground to plant seeds. The potential is there.
The playground plays a key role in completing the urban space surrounding the botanical garden. It brings the city to life while maintaining the theme of the garden and allowing the children to appreciate the nature around them through the botanical garden.
In a nutshell, the wooden playground of Bot.Sad. is different and much needed. Children are our future, and catering to their needs from an early age is important for them to become functioning members of society. It is through education, socializing, playtime, challenging their fears, or an all-in-one like a beautiful playground.