3. September 2018
Climbing Landscape for a Residential Cooperative
In parts of the Lichtenberg district in Berlin between high-rises, the history of industrial housing construction is still clearly visible. Up until a few years ago, Lichtenberg was not perceived very positively by many Berliners. The mental connection of the district’s appearance to the bleakness of the GDR was too strong. Today, it is one of the most popular districts among people moving to the city. Especially families with young children are moving here.
Local housing corporations are especially pleased by this trend. Berlin's largest housing corporation, the WGLi, has impressively created both a community garden and a playground in the form of a highly varied climbing landscape as part of the redesign of the outdoor area of an 11-storey residential complex. "With the playground in particular, we wanted to set a real highlight in the surrounding area," says Frank Gerasch of the WGLi.
The 335-m² large playground comprises a 6-metre high rope play house, ...
...as well as a spatial net play unit (Jupiter), the outer framework of which is based on the shape of an octahedron. The device can be climbed up to a height of almost seven metres. The free fall height never exceeds the permissible amount.
Thanks to the modular system of Berliner Seilfabrik, the two high play units could be connected to each other via a variety of different low rope elements in such a way that a self-contained climbing landscape was created.
All play equipment can be climbed through without touching the ground - the circumferential play length amounts to 60 metres! Those looking to touch the ground can get off at any point ...
... or slide down one of the two slides connected to Jupiter or the rope playhouse.
Visually, the newly designed climbing facility blends in perfectly with the surroundings. This is especially due to their colour design: blue ropes, posts and HDPE panels, silver-grey pipes and yellow system balls perfectly match the colouring of the façade of the residential complex.
The leading landscape architect Mario Bobsien explains his idea for the design of the playground: "The appearance of the high-rise with partially glazed loggias in front of a blue sky and green meadow in the foreground evokes the association of a massive mountain wall in the mountains. We also picked up on this idea in the design of the exterior area, which lies like a mountain valley in front of the façade."
"We wanted the mountain character to be reflected in the play area, so we looked for play equipment that would involve challenging climbing or sliding down into the valley," Bobsien continues.