The Beatrix Park is one of Amsterdam’s oldest modern city parks, and is enclosed between the Ring Road A10, the Beethoven Street on the west side and the RAI Convention Center on the eastern side. The oldest part of the park designed by Jacoba (Ko) Mulder was built in 1938 and is characteristic of the transition from the romantic design style of the 19th century to the more functionalist style of the post-WWII era.
To compensate for the expansion of the RAI, in the nineties of the last century, a fragile strip between the A10, the Beethoven and St. Nicolaas Lyceum was added to the park: The Wet Valley. This area, an elongated pond with view hills, positions the park more centrally, making it more an island.
With the redevelopment of the Beatrixpark, Carve was asked to create a new playground design for the (single-function) existing basketball court. In addition to an existing playground for children aged 0-6, this meant to be the second major play facility in the park. Looking for a sculptural form that is attractive for all age groups and at the same time serves as a meeting place (for parents), Carve designed an organically shaped sculpture that incorporates various play functions. By arranging the requested functions in one binding object, the space around it is divided into three and thus redefines the environment. Inside the sculpture children can climb, slide and hang. Because these play functions are partially hidden, children experience this often as exciting. On the outside of the playscape is a mirrored wall on which the green of the environment is reflected. Whilst playing or approaching the mirror wall, children and passersby are extremely distorted, which provokes immediate reactions. On one of the outer sides of the object a trampoline is sunk in the ground. On another side, a goal has been painted on the wall, thus extending the area as a playing field.
The object is slightly hidden between the trees, but its shape is open on both sides. The bright lilac coating makes it visible from the southern cycle path.
The Beatrixpark is part of the Amsterdam Zuidas area, an area strategically situated between Amsterdam city centre and Schiphol Airport. In addition to the development of the Zuidasdok, an import infrastructural project where the Ring Road A10 is going underground, the Beatrixpark will in time be extended to the south-facing Sportpark Buitenveldert and the Amaliapark.
Date design: 2013 – 2016
Date of completion: August 2016
*Beatrixpark is the 2023 Archdaily’s Building of the year nominee.