Turning Rainwater Into a Playground

Image: De Urbanisten and Studio Marco Vermeulen

Two Dutch architects want to alter the storm drainage system of the city of Rotterdam to redirect water into playgrounds. The water will be used to fill fanciful ponds and moats for children to play in/around:

In Florian Boer and Marco Vermeulen's proposal, rainwater runoff isn't funneled into a complex system of underground pipes, a system that is rather expensive to build and maintain, but is managed instead through a network of surface reservoirs, the Waterpleinen, or Watersquares. These storage spaces will be dry for most of the year, but during storm events, they will collect water from the surrounding neighborhood. If one reaches capacity, excess water will overflow into another basin. After the rain, the collected water will slowly recede into nearby bodies of water or seep into the soil.

So instead of being buried in concrete, excised from the daily life of the city and only experienced by municipal workers, urban hydrology is visibly, even prominently, incorporated into the surface fabric of the city. Programmed with recreational opportunities when its dry and even while inundated, its infrastructure provides active public spaces for the local area, not dark playgrounds for a handful of urban explorers. It even becomes an event, its frolicking rivulets and interior lakes staged for the young and old.

Link via Fast Company

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Gavriloff construction ,I Heard owner David Gavriloff is retired , and no longer building homes, but will take on jobs like skate parks , or private ramp confg at your home not cheap .!but they are very well made and skate solid ,nice tranisitions ,''plenty of'' vert , our 15 yr old says .
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David Gavriloff , builds the finest ramps , transformed our back yard into an amazing skate park instantly making us the most popular people on the block possibly all of sonoma ,,he was quick in one day he had installed 14 ramps miniramps 1half pipe and a huge drop into our pool with silky smooth transitions no one builds like this guy ,, pro ,, thanks to him and his team , we are home to stay ,, enjoying our home and family life like never befor ,, all due to david gavirloff g ramps ,,,
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Wes - I'll clarify my comment. I think the playground you described is reasonable. My intent was not to say concrete shouldn't be used because kids might fall, outdoor basketball courts are a great example of where it works great! My point was really that unevenly poured concrete (the ridges used to confine the water) just doesn't seem smart in a space where the intent is for young kids to run around and be "kids".

BTW - the two examples you provided look like great implementation of water and concrete, but the intention of the space is different. I don't think there is anything wrong with those spaces because I suspect people realize there is reason to take caution, whereas the space proposed in this project would encourage different behavior.
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"Intentionally pouring uneven pavement in a park intended for young children seems a bit off."

When I was a kid, playgrounds were made of huge wooden beams, metal poles, chains and tires, surrounded by yards of gravel, all potentially injury-inducing. I survived and so did all my friends. We also learned to look where we were going, that splinters wouldn't kill us, that crushed rock wasn't something to wrestle on, and most important, sliding down the slide in shorts during the height of summer was a very bad idea.

When I was a little bit older, I enjoyed running around the Leonhardt Lagoon in Dallas (http://tinyurl.com/ydtknty) and the Fort Worth Water Gardens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Worth_Water_Gardens), both of which comprised -- guess what -- concrete and water.

I know I'm turning into a crotchety old man, but frankly today's plastic-bubble playgrounds make me sad. Raising kids in an entirely padded environment produces adults with no coping skills the same way raising them in a sterile, antibacterial setting produces adults with weak immune systems.

Let your kids get a few bruises and scrapes! Concrete only hurts when you aren't careful.
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