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play by philippa

a blog about all things play

Category Archives: Architecture

The NY Times recently featured this charming treehouse built by an interior designer from New Orleans by the name of Alexandra Meyn.

There is just so much I love about this Treehouse, firstly how is it designed and styled as its own individual space with “pink bats on the wall, and glass windows that dangle on the ground-floor level like earrings”. I also love how the Treehouse is used as a place of refuge and escape from the city and decorated with treasures just like a child’s special place. However I think what has inspired me most is how this Treehouse was built to brighten Alexandra’s spirits and a way for her to showcase her unique style. Alexandra gave herself a $400 Budget for the construction and taught herself valuable design skills such as turning her blueprint into reality and sourcing pre-loved building supplies, like finding doors and windows on the street and  having paint and floorboards supplied by Build It Green in Queens.

I have been incredibly inspired by this Treehouse and I hope you were too. You can read the full article from the NY Times and more for information about Alexandra Meyn please visit her website.


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Wouldn’t it great to transfer every old billboard in this way? Yes i know it looks completely unsafe, but the idea is completely inspired.  The artists/architects from Mesarchitecture  aim to provide a welcome break from the modern urban space, for two people,  by providing a ‘urban reanimation device’ that although risky allows a new perception of the city to develop.  The idea is that “they will both escape and dominate public space through a game of equilibrium and desequilibrium.”

Double Happiness reminds me of when I would swing upside down in my own backyard, and viewing my surroundings from this angle would create a whole new perception of the world.

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I get so excited when I discover a cool playground on the web however I am even more excited about this Playground dubbed ‘Geopark’.  ‘Geopark‘ is completely constructed using recycled materials left over from the local oil industry in Stavanger, Norway.

The Norwegian Architects Helen and Hard utilized the expertise and materials (including waste) obtained from the oil industry as well as the involvement and ideas of local youths to create a park sensitive to the site and needs of the community. The park includes spaces for play, skate and riding and discarded objects are used to create a jumping landscape, a trasfer basket, chill-out area and an exhibition space to house graffiti and street art.

‘Geopark’ was originally intended to have a lifeline of one year,  however’ according to the Helen and Hard website, there are discussions to make the Park a permanent feature.

Thank you to Abstract Noun and Apartment Therapy for their Photos.

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Take an old but adored Japanese Zelkova tree, previously used by kindergarten children for climbing and games, and make it the central focus and natural component to a multi leveled learning and playing space that is the Fuji Kindergarten “Ring Around a Tree”. In this spiral of glass and wood designed by Tezuka Architects, children are encouraged to move between their 6 multi levels with complete freedom “to learn through the senses and body”. I Love Salvator-John A. Liotta’s description of the Kindergarten in his article for Domus Magazine, “A visual turbine driven by the energy of childhood and nature.” This is how we should be designing educational spaces for children, where learning and play should coincide in perfect harmony.

Images courtesy of Domus Magazine.

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Now and then I hope to post pictures of playgrounds I have visited from home as well as from abroad. I really enjoyed seeing different playgrounds overseas and I think it will be really interesting to compare them to ones at home.

I visited Stockholm in July 2011, and particularly loved this playground that I stumbled on in Vasastaden. Vasaparken itself was a fantastic park, full of endless activities with putt putt golf, a cafe and a playing field that turns into a an Ice Rink in Winter. I think the playground is beginning to show its age especially in the rubber wetpour, but the modern and traditional play elements still allow it to be a really functional and playful space.


The Landscpae Architects Grontmij won the prestigious Sienapriset award for the park in 2008.

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For the first post for play by philippa, I am going to start by posting a play structure that everyone just looks at in awe and says “Man! I wish I had that growing up.” Designed by Berlin-based ANNABAU Architektur und Landschaft . The entire structure composes of two elements. The outer element is a ‘multi-layered loop’ of suspended net and climbing elements supported by continuous stainless steel piping. The inner element is an arrangement of Rubber mounds allowing play of all types.

You can view more photos and plans of the structure at ANNABAU Architektur und Landschaft.

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