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14.12.2015 - Ausgabe: 6/2015

Densely constructed areas – and playable


Residential construction in Austria is regulated by regional laws in the individual Federal states. There is a uniform regulation here which stipulates that housing complexes must have areas marked for playgrounds; although there are normally no additional legal requirements that necessitate equipment to be installed in these areas. It is even, therefore, theoretically possible to have an open area bereft of play opportunities. In practice though, there is usually playground equipment, albeit often in the form of an Alibi playground with the classic line up of: swing, slide, sand pit and see-saw. These playgrounds are naturally very unappealing and are, therefore, rarely used.

There are numerous, completed projects which prove that it doesn’t need to be like this, especially in the state of Tyrol where the playground equipment manufacturer Obra Design from Neukirchen an der Vöckla (Upper Austria) was able to collaborate. Tyrol is characterised as mountainous land by its lack of available free spaces for residential construction. This has resulted in the necessity to concentrate construction into as small an area as possible ‒ unlike elsewhere in Austria ‒ particularly in Greater Innsbruck where many new housing complexes are being developed.

Running parallel to this is a strong trend towards modern architecture. In order to ensure congruity of design, play areas are often, therefore, realised to a very high standard in terms of equipment and the design of the surroundings, for example employing high-quality EPDM floor coverings.

It is characteristic for the Tyrol housing market to have numerous residential buildings erected by private property developers. These developers often choose very innovative designs. Here are a few cases.

Profil Wohnbau GmbH, Innsbruck, is constantly building housing complexes in the Innsbruck area. One such example is the Mitterweg/Tiergarten housing complex with 72 residential units, which was completed in 2012. Obra Design delivered the play equipment for a central tower construct with swings, as well as items from the path-accompanying play product range, which children can use for regular physical exercise as they make their way through the park.

Neue Heimat Tirol, a non-profit housing company based in Innsbruck, is responsible for the construction of the General-Eccher-Straße housing complex in Innsbruck in 2011. Specialised play equipment designs were requested for this project, calling upon one of the core skills of Obra Design as a manufacturer of special playground equipment. A sand-moving game and balancing equipment were both realised.

ZIMA SPEKTRA Wohnraumsentwicklungs GmbH (living-space development company) realised a facility in Innsbruck in 2012 with the Wohnen am Gießen project which is characterised essentially by its generous EPDM play areas. Play equipment was used sparingly and selected on the basis of how it blended in visually.

In 2013 the Eugenpark real estate construction company built a playground in an unusual place – on the roof of a supermarket in Innsbruck. In particular, there were a few technical problems to overcome in terms of assembling the playground, such as transporting the materials to the site on the roof by crane and the utilisation of special anchoring when assembling the facility on the existing concrete roof. As regards the equipment, several modern items by Kompan were selected, on the one hand, and with wooden items by Obra Design, on the other.


Photos: Obra Design

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