blockitecture leaderboard

Building a Better Playground

Cecilie Rohwedder profiles playground designer Peter Heuken, who's at the vanguard of a trend towards bespoke play spaces that challenge children as much as they entertain them.

"Mr. Heuken is the head designer at Richter Spielgeräte, a German company that has built playgrounds around the world. A trained carpenter and wood engineer, he is currently creating playgrounds in Sarasota, Fla., and on Governor's Island in New York City. One of his best-known projects is the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in London's Kensington Gardens, which features a large wooden pirate ship."

"Mr. Heuken, a 48-year-old father of three, builds playgrounds that are made mostly of wood, giving them a look very different from the bright, plastic climbing frames found at many U.S. parks and schools," explains Rohwedder. "They are part of a trend away from cookie-cutter play equipment and toward imaginative, challenging structures, often designed for specific spaces. Mr. Heuken's special interest is to make his playgrounds as safe as necessary, but also exciting and demanding for children."

"Nobody uses a car because it has brakes," he says. "Nobody goes to a playground because it is safe."

Full Story: The Engineer of Playground Pizazz

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105