Landscape Architect & Specifier News

FEB 2016

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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(Continued from page 18) p l a y g ro u n d Top, Left If Reunion Trails appears to have a futuristic look, it's probably because of the playground equipment. It has electronic devices similar to video games. Sun Ports made the shade shelters, and Miracle Playgrounds manufactured the traditional playground equipment and safety surfacing. Top, Right Hardy Construction Inc., the contractor, built a labyrinth, wavy pipe walls, a form- lined planter, and retaining and sedimentary walls. Waterplay Solutions Corp, a supplier of aquatic recreation equipment, manufactured all the products in the splash pad (right-hand side of the photo). Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) stand in the background. Bottom An M.C. Escher theme was emphasized for Reunion Trails. Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is a famous graphic artist. Artist Robin Brailsford incorporated three mosaic-tile lizard patterns, each 14 feet long, into the hardscape. T.B. Penick and Sons installed the hardscape surface, which features colored concrete with Lithocrete and colored glass-seeded finishes. 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News hardscape," Southwick said. "The three mosaic patterns represent three lizards native to the Mojave Desert. There are a total of 10 lizard mosaics that each work their way in from a different part of the site and join into a central, M.C. Escher inspired, interlocking mosaic." Robin Brailsford, of Brailsford Public Art, holds a master's degree in sculpture and a patent for LithoMosaic, a method of casting mosaics within monolithic concrete pours. Another feature not seen in most playgrounds is the electronic devices in the hardware of the playground equipment. These devices are similar to video games. "It basically puts the child into the middle of the action," Southwick said. The electronic components allow the playground equipment manufacturer to monitor the games through WiFi, and to add new games remotely on a regular basis. Some games have children moving through the playground equipment and touching lighted buttons. Others require balancing on a spinning wheel. Some are based on teamwork. Names of the various games give a little insight to the activity involved: Color Catch, Marble Drop, Pump It, Capture, Tug of Time and Beat Master. Usage statistics from the electronic games show that in the first year the park was open, over 113,000 kids played over 91,000 games. It also made Reunion Trails one of the most popular playground facilities of its kind in the country, Southwick said. Southwick Landscape Architects came up with other "artistic elements," including a labyrinth, wavy pipe walls, a form-lined planter, retaining and sedimentary walls, and umbrella shade structures. T.B. Penick and Sons installed the hardscape surface, which features colored concrete with Lithocrete and colored glass-seeded finishes in complex patterns. There is also a splash pad with a reverse waterfall, water cannons, ground geysers, jet streams, loop cannons, water bugs, doughnut sprays and water tunnels. It even features a raised river element where items can be floated from one end to the other.

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