For the next 16 days the world will be watching the action unfold at London’s XXX Olympiad. This is a time of focused, high performance play when athletes try to exceed their personal best for the ultimate glory of a podium prize. There will be no shortage of superhuman accomplishments over the course of these two weeks, incredible stories of endurance, strength and skill.
I can’t help but wonder how many of the gifted athletes from all corners of the globe were risk takers at their local play places as they were growing up. Was outdoor play an important component of their early childhoods?
When all the medals are counted, when the athletes and fans have returned home and the brouhaha is a distant echo, the Olympic site will be reclaimed for the people of London and transformed into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. One of the features will be a spanking new playground.
The designers were selected through a competitive process. You can read about it in Tim Gill’s blog Rethinking Childhood. Tim is a former Director of the Children’s Play Council now Play England and was a member of one of the juries that reviewed designers’ submissions.
erect architecture and Land Use Consultants (LUC) are the winners of the North Park competition. The London Legacy Development Corporation’s news release describes erect architecture as “an emerging practice with a strong focus on culture, education and play. Their buildings and playspaces have won several high profile awards for projects such as the Kilburn Grange Playpark in north-west London.”
Based on the design and the firm’s previous work, we can look forward to an exciting playscape taking shape post Olympics.
Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground, London. Source: UK Playground Adventure
If you’re in London with kids and aren’t taking in any Olympic action, or just need a break, check out London Play and click on their ‘Play in London’ menu button to find Adventure Playgrounds and more.
We can’t all be Olympians but we can all play, play, play…