Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 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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40 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The George I. Sanchez Collaborative Community School in Albuquerque, N.M. has 1,200 K-8 pupils. Playworld worked with school leadership to formulate a playground with integrated play flow, and intuitive navigation to facilitate kids' access to age- appropriate play. The playground elements were designed to complement the color palette and architecture of the school itself, while challenging each child at his or her own level. Left: The playground was "designed for little hands" and for physical and intellectual engagement. There are fitness elements for 7-8th graders who feel too grown up for "little kid" playground equipment, but nevertheless want an outlet for their energy. There's even a pod-like fun motion experience meant as a calming space for children on the autism spectrum who need a break from sensory input. Physical Play Continued from page 38 Ancona School began in 1963 as a 3-6 year-old Montessori preschool in a storefront in Chicago's Hyde Park. The open classrooms give students a great deal of autonomy in where, how and with whom they engage in learning. Ancona adheres to Maria Montessori's belief that children are naturally motivated, active learners who build their own understandings of the world as they interact with their environment Ancona had a fairly tight, narrow space to place a new playground. The space was further limited by needing to accommodate fire engine access and fire escape safety routes. Still, the school aspired to offer an active, challenging and fun play experience for its youngsters. The main structure is custom-built. Separate to the main structure are some signature swings, and a hill slide on the berm of the amphitheater area. "We don't want to stay in the box," says Robert Lockhart of Dynamo Playgrounds. "If you give kids a box, they'll play for awhile before they get bored, because the walls are all the same. (Here) they're having fun, but they're getting exercise and interacting with the other kids." He notes the atypical structures and layout at first give the kids pause. You can see them thinking, "What do I do here?" They have to take it all in and decide how to approach the various play elements. Top, Left: This playground was a cooperative effort between the equipment provider and landscape architect Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab (Chicago). Top, Right: The comprehensive structure fit the limited space but has enough capacity to accommodate the students. The play includes climbing, swinging, balancing and sliding, while encouraging active and interactive imaginative play. The colors match the school colors. Ancona School Chicago, IL. George I. Sanchez Collaborative Community School Albuquerque, N.M.

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