Urban Playground is one of four built projects undertaken this year by the LFA in partnership with four Business Improvement Districts in the City of London. Working closely with EC BID on specific needs for the area, the brief was developed to imagine an installation that would cater to a wide range of workers, residents and visitors to the city by providing a common space that could be enjoy by all — from families to financial workers — and would shift perceptions of public space within the City of London.
Designers McCloy + Muchemwa were commissioned to deliver an intervention that would bring in an element of unexpected play into the City and invite people to interact with one another and their surroundings in new ways, and their design Urban Playground was installed in June 2023.
Inspired by traditional wooden children’s toys which slot together geometrically, the design for the Urban Playground starts with a single block, from which each of the various shapes are ‘carved’. The pieces created from the block make up the modular installation, created using a timber frame, clad in cork and colourful vinyl, each with a unique shape that creates the opportunity for seating, play or pause.
Designers McCloy + Muchemwa © Luke O’Donovan
Playful Anywhere, experts in providing fun and accessible spaces for children in galleries and the public realm, were brought on to the project to consult on the playability and safety of each element. Each element of the Urban Playground formed a ‘breadcrumb trail’ to lead visitors through the City of London on a journey, encountering intriguing sculptural elements.
Urban Playground © Luke O’Donovan
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Urban Playground / McCloy + Muchemwa
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