AFA Group: The “Pyramids” playground is located in Butovo micro-district, on the edge between its old and new parts. Built in the 2000s, the old one has typical characteristics of that time: car parking all along with the building blocks and almost no trees. By contrast, the new part car-free courtyards are full of greenery.
Behind the playground itself, there was an intention to establish a public space for meeting and communication among the residents. Together with the client a — developer company PIK Group we designed a Play Hub to redistribute activities between the courtyards and the public spaces of the district. The courtyards remained more private and calm, while the play Hub became not only the meeting point for the whole district, but also a destination playground, attracting even visitors from other places far away. Such concept is a way for the developer to start the formation of local communities. “Pyramids” playground is the pioneer project of this kind.
The bow-shaped general scheme is based on the idea of free infinite play. It consists of several smoothly interconnected landscape elements: ramp, canopy, stream and pond, each meeting the basic needs of different age groups. The RAMP divides the playground into two zones: the active space for older children and the space for toddlers’ quiet play and experiments. At the same time, tunnels, stairs, and bridges create links, allowing for various scenarios to develop in addition to the main route.
The spacious CANOPY completes the ramp. From its viewpoint parents can watch children playing without interfering the game. Under the canopy there is a cafe with a good overview of the toddlers’ play area. Thanks to such spatial organization children feel themselves more independent and learn self-determination. Furthermore, the well-developed infrastructure promotes longer stay on the playground for the whole family.
Down the amphitheater with staircase one can reach the STREAM. In its upper part, children have to pump the water using special equipment. Several kinds of pumps, locks, canals and the water mill provide numerous opportunities to play with water. The waterbed has diverse relief resembling natural topography. The flow, along with the POND is accessible from any point of the playground, making it part of the integral play scape on different levels.
Thirteen meter high Pyramid Tower is the land mark, which can be seen from far away, attracts new visitors. It is also the symbol of the playground.
Working on the project, we aimed to create consistent environment, paying attention to details and the overall scale, which had to be comfortable for the small ones. As for the landscape solutions, we gave preference to natural materials and natural relief with higher play value. The residential blocks’ color scheme determined our choice of color.
After two years of functioning, rain or shine, the playground remains full of visitors from all over the district. To us, it means hope for the raising of public concern about qualitative playgrounds and the overall improvement of urban scape in residential areas.
Landscape Architecture: AFA
Project location: Buninskie Luga, Moscow, Russia
Design year: 2016 — 2017
Year Built: 2017
Area: 6 000 m2
Budget: 2 238 000 €
Client: PIK Group
Manufacturer of urban equipment: Richter Spielgeräte, Kompan