Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2015

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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60 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The LaSalle II Magnet School is a world language academy in Chicago that serves students in preschool through eighth grade. The creative minds at site design group, ltd. worked with the Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) LaSalle II Magnet School to re-imagine their outdated playground into an exploratory play space that represents the multicultural, multilingual mission of the school. In addition to core subjects, students are required to study one of four foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, or Spanish. Together with the LaSalle II Magnet School and an active community, site design group, ltd. designed a play space based on the concept of story time, where four children's stories representing each of the four languages taught at the school come to life. Don Quixote in Spanish, One Thousand and One Nights in Arabic, Journey to the West in Chinese, and Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) in French are incorporated into the playground scheme through concept, imagery, and bilingual quotes that provide a unique educational opportunity and further awareness of other cultures beyond the playground. Above & Left The "planet" mound, inspired by the French novella The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, has an accessible spiraling sloped walkway, embankment slides, beanstalk and rose climbers. The play pieces (Landscape Structures) were also inspired by the story. The little wise fox character is rendered as a metal sculpture, which is sometimes used by students as a gathering place and shelter. The sculpture quotes the words of the fox to the little prince in the original French, and in English: "On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. The essential is invisible to the eyes." (Continued on page 62)

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