also to create an environment that encourages social and intellectual

Also to create an environment that encourages social

This preview shows page 42 - 44 out of 109 pages.

also, to create an environment that encourages social and intellectual development. The playground, designed by Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG), is organized around the theme of Tualatin history. The designers note that this project is still rather rare in North America, and that this continent lags well behind European countries in allocating resources toward the creation of ‘nontraditional playgrounds’. The playground is set within the larger multipurpose recreational context of Ibach Park. It is designed for multiple and diverse child play activities. Although some of the play area components such as swings, sandboxes and spring toys can be found in virtually every American playground, here they are integrated into an overall design that includes many other types of custom designed features. The play area is separated into three distinct spaces, each representing an era in Tualatin history. A stream, sometimes revealed as real water when it rains or as a blue ribbon of soft rubber paving, links the three areas and symbolizes the Tualatin River, the city’s most important geographic feature. The stream originates in the first space, the Prehistory Playground, where a five foot ‘mountain’ referencing the geological history of the area, is located. An infrared activator allows children to initiate and follow the flow of water. The Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 41
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water is guided along a raised area where children in wheelchairs can be included in the experience. This stream meanders past prehistoric animals embedded in the sand, created from recycled tires. Along the way, a large boulder represents the prehistoric meteor that forms the landscape on which Tualatin was built. The prehistory area also includes an archeological dig, dominated by a mastodon rib cage. The digging area uncovers other sculptural skeletal elements while the adjacent wall is embedded with local fossils and fragments. The second play space, the Native American area of the playground, is inspired by the Atfalati Indians who once inhabited the region. Here children can experience many of the Atfalati traditions on specifically designed play equipment such as the Native Drum Circle, the Chime Wall and the Canoe Station. The third play space is called the Early Settlement Playground and reflects the pattern of European settlement in the Tualatin area. A moveable child-powered platform coasts from one paved island area to another, reflecting the role of the ferry to settlers. This area includes play features such as the Farmhouse Climbing Structure, the Logging Balance Beam and the Barn Shade Structure. This cultural playground is a great example of what can happen when children and parents come together with the elders in their community and look to community traditions for inspiration. As a result of the many workshops, visualization and storytelling sessions and community input, this playground has become a city-wide landmark and source of pride.
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