Urban Playground

Location: Fen Court
Date: 2023
Status: Commission
Project Types: Street furniture
Client: EC BID

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.






The design


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

Afterlife

Following its installation in Fen Court, Urban Playground has had a material and colour transformation, and has been installed in a new Bankside location, the installation repurposed by Better Bankside Business Improvement District in collaboration with developer JTRE London. The installation will provide workers, residents and tourists a place to stop and rest, engage in play, and act as a new Bankside meeting point.

Nicole Gordon, Better Bankside CEO and Juraj Marko, JTRE MD next to the Urban Playground installationUrban Playground © Better Bankside

Press

An intuitive counterpart of a traditional playground enlivens London’s Fen Court

London Festival of Architecture and the City of London BIDs reveal striking installations in the City for LFA2023

Urban Playground / McCloy + Muchemwa

10 Things To Do And See At The London Festival Of Architecture 2023

Better Bankside Presses Play on New Urban Installation



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