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03.01.2011 - Ausgabe: 6/2010

Imaginative play with water


The “Cultural Quarter” with a forum and educational establishment in the centre, the park of rocks and the town terraces, unusual rock formations and the gardens of senses are being added to, using a special play area on the topic of water...

The water playground is situated close to the main entrance on the town terraces and follows the theme gardens of the garden show. In a sandy 1,000 square-metre area there are four different specially-styled stations with trick fountains:
In the water forest, colourful poles - which are taller than people - are spraying water high into the air with fine whirlpools or a gushing water-jet.
On a square well basin monolith made from concrete, water swells out of round, shiny-metallic jets. Various large wooden plateaux are phased into a small fountain tower with several water pumps, between the joints there are wide water gutters to catch and channel the water.
Shapely hemispheres made from steel balance on a leg in a sandy area; not clearly defined in its use, they challenge children’s imaginations, from splashing to the scooping of sand.
Plain, square elements made from site concrete zone different height levels of the playground and form boundary and climbing objects. In connection to framed and incorporated plant beds, there is an insular succession of different water play areas. The selected plants, tamarisks and pastures - placed in the midst of large boulders made from greywacke - form a welcome contrast to the formal play stations thanks to their gnarly vigour and the delicate foliage.

The precipitated pump elements are mostly located not right on the play objects themselves, but are hidden under surfaces, as appropriate, or are on the edge of the playground. Without communicating with each other, the children cannot get the water to flow. Appropriate suction pumps, which are partially hidden under stepping stones, activate an unexpected gush of water: These surprise effects on an unexpected area bring about a sense of fun.

A complex gutter system continues across the whole playground, leading to the different play stations. Children can divert the water to air sensor plates, millwheels or water pumps, move things with it, dam it up or simply spray each other with it. However, there are also objects whose usage is not directly predetermined. Large stainless steel bowls, for instance, which demand children’s creativity. At the back area, there will be a large sand play area with water pumps for splashing, running riot and building sand castles.

Accompanying adults and even the children themselves can rest either in the shadow of a tree on a large wooden roof in the middle of a playground or on large cushions, placed between trees and beds of shrubs on the adjacent turf steps.

Richter Spielgeräte GmbH has compiled an attractive selection of equipment from its comprehensive range of products and equipment in a special 120-page catalogue entitled “Water and Play” – particularly for planners and architects who, with many technical details, have got their hands on funded decision-making support. geskes.hack landscape architects have made use of it in Hemer.

Photos: Richter play equipment, Frasdorf


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