7. November 2018

Cosmodrome Genk

Whether it’s surfing the Milky Way, taking off on a flight to Mars or discovering more about the laws of nature and robotics – there’s a huge amount on offer at the Cosmodrome planetarium in the Belgian town of Genk! And yet this astronomical observatory is just one of Kattevennen’s many attractions. Located at the entrance to the Hoge Kempen National Park, Kattevennen is surrounded by walking paths and tracks for riding and cycling, as well as a minigolf complex and a number of art installations.
The latest outdoor highlight is ‘De Speelplaneet’ – a multifaceted playground offering everything a child could wish for.

Even while visitors walk from the car park to the planetarium, this imposing playground attracts their attention with its eye-catching colour combination of bright orange and elegant white aluminium, which at the same time ensures it blends into its surroundings. Reminiscent of a planetary orbit, the apparatus has been laid out in a circular fashion, allowing a multitude of possibilities for climbing, swinging and balancing.
Berliner Seilfabrik’s range comprises 13 product groups, each boasting a variety of models in a host of thematically coordinated designs. Being highly modular in nature, these product groups can be combined and interlinked. Five groups were used in the construction of the Cosmodrome project alone.

Whether for solo or group play, Playpoints such as the Monkey JibeCloud 9Hammock and VIP-Swing invite little athletes to twist and swing, offering lots of fun while they’re on the move.

Even the most seasoned climbers’ mettle is tested on the sculptural Shout structures. Whether clambering up or down, inside or out – the flat nets, whether in the form of net funnel, climbing wall, climbing net or low-level net, can be scaled by many children simultaneously, while the structure’s steel tubing additionally lends itself perfectly to being used for balancing and sliding.

For those in need of a quick breather, the Trii-House and the rubber membrane cube offer the ideal opportunity for relaxation and retreat.

“It was our aim to build a playground which stood out not so much by dint of its size or height, but because it fits into Kattevennen’s ‘cosmic adventure’ theme,” said Marius Kotte, head of Berliner Seilfabrik’s construction and development department. “To achieve this, we integrated the Playpoints into a framework which already housed other climbing and play elements. The diameter of this framework’s steel tubing is the same as that of the Shout structures, thereby visually bringing together the various elements of the play apparatus.”

The individual play elements were connected to the bends in the tube via special steel adaptor modules. Despite the bendy nature of the tube, an accurate fit was achieved through these steel parts being laser cut.
The patented Charlotte-Connector connects the various ropes to the Shout structure’s tubular bends. This ensures that the ends of the rope remain invisible inside the steel tubing, thereby obviating the need for visible press-fittings or hooks in the planning and construction process. The Charlotte-Connector ensures that the incorporation, adjustment and even re-tensioning of rope ends becomes child’s play.

Since the planetarium is a much-visited educational establishment for school groups of widely varying age groups, it was important to create a playground that combined various play functions with diverse levels of ability. Besides the multiple cognitive teaching content offered by the Cosmodrome, children of all ages now have the chance to really let off steam outdoors too.

The playground is rounded off by a sandpit for small children, comprising the OrbitEddie and Hula-Loop Playpoints, as well as a Sand Workshop, which foster role-playing games among the little ones.