Posts Tagged ‘Layout’

The Ideal Playscape, A Festival of Fun… A Culmination of Playgrounds

June 24, 2010

Creating an ideal place for children should be a priority for all communities. This place needs to be more than anything safe and healthy. It also needs to be accessible to the majority of the public in terms of location. Costs need to be manageable as well, both in upfront costs and in long-term maintenance. Once these basic requirements have been met, the final piece of the puzzle can be fit into place… the fun… the excitement… the entertainment. There is a way to satisfy everyone’s playground demands for fun, and that is by including all three playground types in a single site.

The first type of playground is the water spray park. This site is perfect for taming the summer heat and for making new friends in the community. Not only can a family enjoy the summer sun, but they can also be next to neighbors, friends, and future playmates. Water really brings people together and with a park that encourages water fights through the use of sprayers, cannons, and the perfect spot for water balloons, it is no surprise that the first type of playground at this festival of fun just maybe the most popular.

The second must is a lounge or picnic area and large fields for games. A shelter will shade patrons from the scorching sun and will also offer a great spot for tables, benches, and can act as the backdrop for barbeques. This spot will also act as a way for adults to better enjoy the tri-playground area because they won’t be forced to wait in the sun for their children to tire out playing. Instead they can be close to the third spot, the traditional playground, and can easily keep an eye on their kids.

The third playground is the ones we all think of immediately when the subject comes up. These include slides, swings, ladders, poles, and all the fun stuff. Playgrounds these days have a ton of exciting technology that children can explore and act off of. Some of these are the Orb-X, the Gravitron, and the Mega Tower. Now all can enjoy the park more with the combination of multiple playgrounds into one site… enjoy the festival of fun!

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Design Secrets for Playground Success

June 7, 2010

Many design factors contribute to a successful playground project. When designing a playground, it is important to work through form, functionality, and cost often in order to keep with a client’s guidelines for the project from beginning to end. There are a few, simple design secrets that can really improve your project during the planning stages so that when it comes time to present your project to a client you know you will not have overlooked a few great details. These design secrets are basic, but many people won’t think about them until its too late… or too far into the game plan for changes to be possible… or too bad because the client went another direction.

The first design secret for playgrounds is to keep water in mind the entire time. For example, how much rain does the site get each year? A factor like this can help you decide on surfacing options, run-off support, and even which features are acceptable. If it rains a lot, porous playground decks are a must and a ton of slides may not be a good idea. If the playground is at the base of a hill, it will most likely receive a lot of runoff so a bark chip surface might end up costing a client a lot of money year after year to replace. By simply keeping water in mind they entire design period, a designer can impress their client by offering very functional design aspects.

The second design secret for playground success is the implementation of both shade structures and weather shelters. For early spring park activities, having both ends of the spectrum covered will ensure that your park visitors can enjoy themselves thoroughly rain or shine. Most areas have on or the other but the few that have both have the advantage of catering to people through the all of the elements, which keeps the park or playground popular, and popular sites get noticed. Take the time and figure out how you will include both shade and shelter and your park will be noticed by both your client and your community.

A Playground Should Play Into Its Surroundings

February 10, 2010

A site’s essence, as landscape architects know, is an extremely important factor to consider when planning a design.

A site’s essence is utilized by landscape architects to determine many factors of design such as its color and form as well as functionality. For instance, in relation to playgrounds, if a site is scorched by hot weather by a large portion of the year, shade structures can play an important role in keeping children cool and safe. Furthermore, if trees surround this same area, it makes sense to make the shade structure green so that it blends in with the surroundings. Here the site’s essence, that it is hot and surrounded by trees, plays a key role in the implemented equipment and that equipment’s attributes.

Color, form, and features can all be influenced by a site’s surroundings.

In terms of form, the surroundings can again play a big role in what equipment will be aesthetic as well as useful at a particular site. If there are tons of trees everywhere, the height of the equipment may be kept to a minimum so that it doesn’t hit the trees at any point in the future. If it does, the trees would have to be trimmed for safety reasons and this would cost the client more money in the long run. Also, the form could be more boxy if rocky cliffs were in the background or fluid if mostly deciduous trees are around.

Believe it or not, this is an artificial rock formation and can be added in to improve a site’s essence by giving off a nature like feel.

Overall, a site’s essence and its surroundings can determine many things about a site. Basically, a playground design and theme should match the things surrounding it so that is visually stunning. However, if one were to juxtapose a desert area with a forested playground design, it might not look so bad because it’s a fresh sight. All and all, just something to keep in mind… as always, remember to have fun. Visit Miracle Playsystems for more details and design information.

Balance the Playground Features in Your Site

January 26, 2010

Balance the features throughout your playground design.

As with any design, it takes a certain amount of movement, flow, color, form, and balance to please the onlooker and create an attractive work. A playground needs these same things to succeed. There should be a color scheme that blends well within itself and with its surroundings. Features in the park need to be connected in a way that children can move through them easily and without congestion. The pieces themselves need to flow together in order to promote a unified design. And lastly, the design needs balance. It should look natural and even. It should look smooth and well thought out.

Alining equipment with other park features contributes to balance.

Having balance specifically means that a playground should not be lopsided—all the big features should not be on one side with all the small features on the other… unless of course that is your big idea and you execute it flawlessly. Furthermore, balance means that a playground should have layers so that it fills the vertical space evenly as well as the layout. For example, spring riders could fill the ground level. The Gravitron or the Orb-x, swings, and rock walls could fill the middle ground, and look out decks and taller slides could populate the upper space. A well rounded design is needed for great balance.

Determine weight values for each piece of equipment and evenly distribute them over your site plane.

For increased balance, align the features in your playground with the lines of surrounding structures and prominent features around your site. By doing this you will add subtle amounts of evenness that will add up to promote levels of outstanding balance in your playground design. There are so many ways to increase the balance of your site… and along with movement, flow, color, and form, balance is crucial to create a visually pleasing design. Visit Miracle Playsystems for more details.

Choose the Mega Tower; Earn More Business

January 19, 2010

Why choose a Mega Tower to focus your design around? Well, for one thing, with its size, it is sure to stand out—along with you and your concept. It is also a great launch pad for the rest of your creation. Lay out features with ease by connecting them to the Mega Tower or by placing them around it. Also, with the Mega Tower, you’re working with cutting edge playground technology that is guaranteed to be noticed by your clients and by your community. Utilize the best out there—start with a Mega Tower.

A Megatower will impress your client.

Streamline your design process by focusing all the elements of your production around the Mega Tower. Let it do the work—and act as the focal point—then spend the rest of your time piecing together the playground’s features around it. This amazing playground dynamo will get the job done, both in the drafting stages and when the final product is unveiled. Your community will be impressed by the first class nature of the playground, because the Mega Tower is the top of the line. Contact Miracle Playsystems for more details.

Stand out through your design.

When the going gets tuff, take a step back and go with what works. Time and time again, we have seen great success by those who chose the Mega Tower as the centerpiece of their design. Playgrounds seem to flourish with the solid foundation this contemporary playscape attraction provides. Start with a Mega Tower; from here, pick the coolest features available that will contribute to your design’s theme and suddenly, you have done it—you have created a winning design. Chose the Mega Tower—you won’t be disappointed. Visit Miracle Playsystems for more details.

The Mega Tower won't fail you.

Playground Design Aspect of the Week: a Striking Style

January 5, 2010

The Orb-x climber is a great focal point because it is striking and memorable.

Your playground’s style is important. Will it be traditional, but unique? Is it going to register with your visitors as cutting-edge? Are you sure it will be effective in meeting your needs and the needs of your client, community, and patrons? To ensure that your playground is a success, make a point to not only look at the overall style of the playground, but look at making that style sound and striking. As a designer, you are going to know when it either works or doesn’t, but how are you going to set yourself up for success?

A striking style should have at least these three things: a focal point, fluid movement, and the basic fundamentals completely locked down. The focal point on a playground is its center piece. What on your design is going to resonate and stay with onlookers? Will it be the theme, a specific feature like the Orb-x Climber, or an aesthetic detail that no one could miss, even if they tried? If it stands out in a good way, it is going to work.

Fluidity in relation to movement most simply means, does the design flow and in a sense, does it match? When someone new to the park looks at the playground, they should be able to “get it” pretty easily. There shouldn’t be random blobs of equipment strewn about, but rather there should be a rhythm to how the layout is put together. The features could be ordered in levels by height or centered around the focal point… there are many ways of doing this, and it is usually obvious right away if the design has fluid movement.

Playground design fundamentals are easily recognizable by the experts and include factors such as accessibility, age appropriateness, and safety, among other things. When all of these are met with precision, the playground’s design will flourish. However, if a critical fundamental is left out, it will be fairly noticeable to everyone, especially to those who know what to look for. All and all, a striking style depends on many aspects, but it itself is the design aspect of the week.

Be Unique. Be Creative. Be Effective.

November 24, 2009

Unique features will create original experiences.

What will make your playground different than others in the area? Will it be the color scheme or the site theme? Will it be the layout? Perhaps the best way to distinguish your site in the community is by utilizing unique features that contribute to an individual playground identity. By checking out the other playgrounds in the area, you can get an idea as to what may work well, that you could build off of, or what they missed, that you could include. Features that are exciting, fresh, and aesthetically pleasing are your best bet in designing an original site.

Fresh forms and shapes will impress visitors.

Interesting forms will also help your playground stand out. Although some designs look new age, they are still very functional and will impress a client and community with their contemporary appeal. Step out of the box and include shapes and formats not usually seen in the standard design. Go above and beyond the norm and implement entirely new shapes in your playground. Play around with unique concepts. It is almost guaranteed that the more creative you get, the more a child will enjoy the site… let’s face it, a young imagination will take whatever you put it front of it and multiply it by ten with their growing mind’s eye—so start with something big and really get the creative juices flowing.

Go beyond the usual and develope original layouts.

Make your playground an original experience with fresh shapes, features, and forms. Keep pushing the envelope with design… playgrounds are in no way meant to be boring. If a design looks bizarre, but its functionality can be proven, chances are the site will be way more effective in entertaining children that the standard pony show. Take the time to create new playscapes that are fun and unique. Have fun!

Increase the Effectiveness of a Site through its Layout

September 17, 2009

Beyond the features and the theme of a playground, the site layout will shape how visitors experience that site.  For this reason, it is important to consider many different aspects—such as the size of the surrounding population and the predominant age group who will utilize the space—when determining the placement of the playscape parts.  Catering to these factors will help increase accessibility, decrease congestion, promote safety, and boost the overall effectiveness of the site.

A Spread Out Layout will Cater to a Large Population.

A Spread Out Layout will Cater to a Large Population.

If the area around the site is heavily populated, a spread out layout might be the best option.  In doing this, a designer will allow children to move about in the open space between features more in order to reduce collisions, to allow time for features to become less crowded, and to provide much needed breathing room.  This act increases the safety of a playground and increases the effectiveness of it by decreasing the time kids have to wait around to ride on equipment like slides, glide lines, and overhead challenges. 

A Condensed Layout brings Visitors Closer Together.

A Condensed Layout brings Visitors Closer Together.

If the surrounding area’s population is rather sparse, then perhaps it is a good idea to condense the features of the site to bring the visitors closer together.  Kids usually like to play together, so having the features closer together will keep them in one area.  Also, if a large population won’t be using the site, the placement does not have to prevent over crowding, in which case having a more condensed layout will decrease the amount of time it takes to get from one feature to another, thus improving the effectiveness of a site.

For Younger Visitors, a Smaller Structure is better.

For Younger Visitors, a Smaller Structure is better.

The age group that will use the site plays a great role in the layout as well.  For instance, if the children at the playground will most likely be five and under, the features will not only need to be lower to the ground, they will also have to be closer together so that parents can keep a closer eye on those younger children.  If the children will be older, there is still a need for supervision, but more leeway can be given so the placement of the parts can be more spread out.  By taking the surrounding population into account during the design stage of a playground, that site’s effectiveness can be greatly improved.  

For Older Visitors, a site might be better having the features spread out more.

For Older Visitors, a site might be better having the features spread out more.