Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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42 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Angeles area. The existing playground needed an upgrade and accessible restroom closer to the playground. Both elements became part of the final playground installation. Playground Theme Inspiration Rocket's Universe is dedicated to the enhancement of inclusive play for children and adults with divergent special needs. It is an educational, sensory world of visual, tactile and active play exceeding minimum standards of accessibility, with play spaces offering engagement for all. This playground provides mobility and cognitive learning opportunities; active movement and skill play, sound & music and sensory play are offered through sand and imaginative play. Today's Challenge to Landscape Architects According to Shane's Inspiration, one of the major challenges facing the profession today is identifying core sensory triggers in the play environment and resulting behaviors, especially within the arena of children with disabilities. Exploring and adapting modifications to site layout and equipment that supports children with sensory processing challenges, is critical. Per the CDC, 1 in every 59 children in the United States has some form of sensory processing disorder. Play is the building block for academic learning. Above & Inset: The planetary system is depicted on 8' high steel colored posts, with proportionally scaled planets, custom colored as realistically as we know. For security reasons, the planets are just out of reach to playground age children. Each post is positioned at a height readable from ground level for a school-age child and with adult support for a pre-school age child. Painted metal graphics accent the wall, and brass donor plaques, in honor of Rocket, frame each support pilaster. Middle: The rough, non-slip Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) texture was critical to use for the Lunar Balance Beam. Designing the beam to elevate from 8" to 16" provides varying levels of instability, helping a child gain body awareness. Right: Navigating this fully accessible four-deck structure begins at a custom designed Rocket Ship, offering sensory calming from its controlled rhythmic movement. The structure consists of a pilot control seat, a mission control panel with interactives, an open space for wheelchair access, seating and play table for group socialization. Overhead shade is themed with graphic stitching.

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