Consider play - and play areas - as critical to the successful functioning of any family housing project. Avoid placing a low priority on these spaces and leaving their design until the end of a project. In particular, consider how play areas will be used by different age children (2-5 years, 5-12 years, and teenagers) and design these areas accordingly. Avoid "one space fits all" solutions. Locate play areas for small children so that they allow for adult supervision from dwelling units and/or from a central facility such as a laundry. Design play areas so that adults can also congregate and provide supervision.
Images and Captions:
The tot lot in this project has been located to allow direct supervision from surrounding units.
(Tuscany Villas/Villa Calabria)
Dwelling units enclose this playground on two sides, providing privacy and allowing direct supervision. The playground has been raised slightly, making it a separate "place," clearly different from the unit entrances and the common courtyard nearby.
This playground is clearly not a "leftover" space. It has been carefully designed to complement the overall architecture of the project and to provide - in a relatively small area - a variety of places to sit and/or play.
(YWCA Villa Nueva)
This playground is located directly in front of the day care center for the project, allowing direct supervision and providing an outdoor room for the center. Note how the small scale of the center helps reduce the impact of the large walls surrounding the playground, making it a more "child friendly" place to be.
(201 Turk and 111 Jones)
In design workshops, the architect and community members decided to place this play area in the center of the property to allow good access and supervision from all units. Because there are only 35 units, there are a limited number of cars. In addition, speed bumps were installed to further minimize any danger to children.
This playground has been designed as a special place within a bigger interior courtyard. Sinking the playground slightly separates it from the surrounding grassy area and, at the same time, provides simple, continuous seating for playing children or supervising adults.
(Willowbrook Green Apartments)