Fantastic play cloud structures have arisen in the city of Istanbul. They are the iconic landmarks of a new open-air playground on the roof park of Marmara Forum, a shopping centre in the Bakirköy district. The windows of the clouds magically change colours as daylight changes throughout the day. While in silence at the moment, soon the happy sounds of excited children will be covering the site.
Carve was asked to make a design for the playground on the rooftop terrace of Marmara Forum, 24 metres above street level. The terrace and the food court had been renovated to re-establish the Forum as a prominent shopping centre, and it needed a new playground that matches that allure.
Carve aimed at reproducing the experience of touching the clouds through these structures, being about eight storeys above the ground.
Also, given the limited space of the terrace along with the need for shade and cover from the rain, one of the starting points was to think of tall structures with big volumes: fully playable from the inside.
The playground consists of four areas that cater for different age groups: from small to tall. There is a toddler space, a climbing dome, a larger ensemble of spheres and a near eight-metre tall climbing tower with an internal slide. The interior of the bubbles is completely furnished with play elements. Children can climb, slide, lounge in a forest of hammocks and experience height from behind a window looking at the city’s skyline.
Behind Marmara Forum, there is a visionary client and an impressive collaboration of all the parties involved. In that way, it was possible to make the project come alive from the first sketches to realisation within only a six months time frame.
Where in the past playgrounds were mostly facilitated by local municipalities, nowadays often commercial parties are the ones to take initiative in this field of (semi)public and freely accessible play spaces. Parties that really dare to offer children something spectacular. The playground of Marmara Forum is a fine example of such an initiative.
There were many technical challenges during the design and engineering process. For example, considering the size of in particular the largest eight-meter tall construction and the load limits of the existing roof. This issue was creatively solved by designing a self-supporting structure on top of a constructive point, and at the same time, spreading the loads. The spheres of all the play clouds together are constructed out of hexagonal and pentagonal panels, 275 different panels in total.
Local craftsmen produced, assembled and installed the double-curved stainless steel panels with incredible precision. The importance of working with local partners but more over stimulating local economy in a globalized world is evident to Carve. Making use of these locally embedded partners and their networks was key to a superb and timely realisation.
Looking up from street level to 24 meters below you can see the sun glitter on the white play structures, while the dichroic windows colour the in- and outside of the structures.
At night the Bubbles make an intriguing spectacle of lights. Light radiates from behind the window frames turning the Bubbles into a beacon that can be seen from the surroundings.
Project website: Carve – cloud playground
Project Location: OSMANİYE MAH.ÇOBANÇEŞME KOŞUYOLU BULVARI NO.3 MARMARA FORUM AVM 2.KAT MS014 NOLU MAĞAZA, 34568 Bakırköy, Turkije
Design year: 2019
Year Built: 2019-2020
Photographer: Asli Dayioglu
Manufacturer of playground equipment: Playdium