Bredäng is an urban district in the southwest suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. The majority of the district was built in the 1960s and 70s, as part of the million programme, a public housing programme implemented by the Swedish government in the 1960s. The site of Bredäng park was in 2018 a local playground located in a residential part of the neighbourhood. The park was popular but worn-down and in need of renewal. A small football pitch flanked the western boundary of the site, and a full-scale football pitch – just in the process of being renovated and upgraded – bordered the site in the south.
Through the client of the local City District Administration, Nivå developed the park into a place for spontaneous dance, play and free sports. This was done in close collaboration with a focus group of girls living in the area. Current research demonstrates that a majority of Swedish children and youth do not engage in enough daily physical activity; this problem is most pronounced amongst older teenage girls. With that in mind, the process of seeking to formulate new, more inclusive opportunities for physical activity that would appeal to a wide cross-section of society started.
The proposal responds to the fact that the site is presently dominated by football pitches, used mainly for organized sports events for boys and men. The focus group, in contrast, emphasized the importance of rather creating a safe and vibrant space for everyone, where friends, siblings and even parents and relatives could spend time together. Through a series of workshops, the project developed a design for a park that would stimulate spontaneous physical activity more broadly.
A pergola with stepped seating encloses the park’s north-east boundaries. It was custom-made for the project and integrates lighting in its steel structure to ensure that the site can be used throughout the day and during all seasons. A sound system with a Bluetooth receiver allows visitors to play music of their choice. Steel webs with vines build transparent borders to the surroundings.
At the western end of the pergola, a BBQ area with generous seating is situated, using the pergola roof as a canopy in case of rain. At the opposite end, a climbing net and climbing ropes are integrated in the structure. The orange colour runs as a common thread throughout the site, giving it a playful and distinct identity. The colour was chosen by the focus group, who described it as a characteristic colour of Bredäng, referring to the bright orange logo of the Bredäng city centre.
All over the black asphalt surface a playful pattern of orange and white thermo plastic circles, lines and dots is rolled out. It aims to inspire kids, teenagers or whoever comes around, to spontaneously engage in playful running, jumping, dancing or kick-biking. Wooden bench structures emphasize the circling pattern, forming seating edges around various play equipment. The circle as a design element in the park was developed from the informal Swedish name of the park, Trissans Park (i.e. The Trundle Park), and as a wink to an adjacent large, round paddling pool.
A range of different play and sport equipment are spread over the site – a ping pong table, basketball hoops, trampolines, and a large multi-swing - all of which were results of the underlying dialogue process.
Profile of Nivå landskapsarkitektur
Nivå is a Stockholm-based landscape architecture firm that was founded in 2000 and consists of 17 people. Their special interest is the urban public space, and their work ranges from parks, squares and streets to large city plans. The office strives to create site-specific architecture with poetic and playful elements, based on the defined urban space and the local community. Their goal is to shape environments for people that will last over time.
The play loop, an eye-catching system of paths made of red asphalt, meanders through the park, sometimes flat, sometimes slightly hilly, and thus connects the individual play and areas of use. Three play and exercise areas with different use options are integrated into the park.
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