Unifying a Playground’s Form will Enhance its Design and Increase its Appeal

In terms of a playground’s aesthetic appeal, the overall form is just as influential as the theme or the variety of features.  Form can be thought of as what shapes, angles, or curves amass to create the presentation of the playscape.  Also, form includes the color scheme well as the all the visible elements.  To produce a really captivating form, the lines of the equipment should be similar—that is, curving, whimsical and fluid pieces should usually be put in with other pieces like those and features that have harsher angles should be surrounded with other features of the sorts—but some contrast may also be present for effect.

If a playground has a curved bar (half-moon looking) swing set, a circular tower with a crescent shaped ladder connecting its deck with the ground, and a swinging rope bridge, its form is unified with fluidity in all its features.  For example, a new playground from Fusion/Xccent Play! at Lake Nokomis and Calhoun has a few features—the Ion, the Sidewinder, and the Atom—that compliment each other extremely well and generate a distinct, memorable form.

Unified in color and shape, the Atom and Sidewinder produce great form together.

Unified in color and shape, the Atom and Sidewinder produce great form together.

With similar lines and colors as the Sidewinder and Atom, the Ion compliments the form.

With similar lines and colors as the Sidewinder and Atom, the Ion compliments the form.

Taking form the opposite direction, right angles and hard shapes such as triangles and squares fashion a completely different presentation.  By placing a traditional swing set (two A frames connected with a straight bar) along side a boxy tower with a square sided sand box underneath it and next to two correspondingly shaped over-head challenges, a more pointed and faced form is achieved.  For instance, a level bridge and a Glider overhead challenge from Miracle Recreation Company have comparable characteristics and will pay tribute to each other’s form and promote a playground’s more angular style.  Which ever form a playground has–curved, angular, or something else–the features will dictate how well the presentation comes across.  So be sure to make all the pieces complimentary.

Besides color, right angles and a flat structure give this bridge its form.

Besides color, right angles and a flat structure give this bridge its form.

Matching the level bridges form, this Glider has an angular style.

Matching the level bridges form, this Glider has an angular style.

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