The design aspect of the week is the playground rock wall leading up to a play or mega tower. By linking the top of the rock wall to a tower, you not only add to the accessibility of the tower, but also to that of the rock wall. By having an alternative exit to the rock wall, by way of climbing up through the tower, climbers aren’t limited to simply climbing back down the wall. The tower of course gains by having another entrance, or exit, connected to it. By combining features, you really change their nature, usually making them better.
Accessibility isn’t the only thing that is improved here. The looks of the site also make positive gains. When a visitor sees a free standing rock wall, they think its cool, but if its connected to a tower, they also think it’s a good idea. It is surprising how much features can build off of each other. For example, if the monkey bars were stand alone, they would still be used; if they connected to play decks that housed other fun things to do, those monkey bars would be even better. It really comes down to two things here: does the feature provide a fun experience? And, does the feature have a purpose besides providing that fun experience?
Of course, on a playground, providing the fun experience is good enough in most cases, however, if it also serves another role, that feature is of greater value. Plus, it is cost-effective to do this. By linking the rock wall to the tower, you don’t have to put another ladder, pole, or climber in its place. Little design aspects such as this go a long way in helping to meet budget needs and also create a better designed playground.