The blog for inspired travel with children

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monstrum: Inspiring Playground Design

The Cod at Vejlebro School near Copenhagen

I absolutely love the Danish playground design team known as Monstrum (meaning behemoth or monster).  They are responsible for a gaggle of gorgeous playgrounds across Scandinavia (as well as in the UK), with many in the city of Copenhagen.  Their designs are uncomplicated, but totally inspiring - the colors and forms are beautiful and inviting, and the structures are elegant and solidly built. While they hold obvious appeal for a child, this kind of design is terribly alluring for adults too - I know I’m drawn in just looking at them.  It did not surprise me to learn that the founders - Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen - have a background in theater design.

The Blue Whale in Gothenburg, Sweden

 Spider and Mushrooms in Hillerod, Denmark

The Pike in Annedals Park in Stockholm

We got to play in one of these when we visited Tivoli, in Copenhagen.  “Petzi’s World” (on Monstrum’s site they call it Rasmus Klump Land) nestles in a corner of the park and is filled with delightful structures drawn from the world of Comic Book favorite Petzi (or Rasmus Klump). While kids gave themselves over to play within the enchanted maritime landscape, adults chatted amiably amid sweetly painted structures and sculptural elements (we met a nice family from Greenland).

Rasmus Klump Land in Tivoli, in Copenhagen

At F√¶lledparken in Copenhagen, the newish playground by Monstrum (completed in late 2011) includes interpretations of five of Copenhagen’s most famous towers: City Hall’s tower, the tower of Our Saviour’s Church (Vor Frelsers Kirke), the Round Tower, the dome of the Marble Church (Marmorkirken), and the Stock Exchange (Borsen) Tower. I love the way real architectural ideas are incorporated into play buildings.

Fælledparken in Copenhagen

This unexpected playscape incorporates a giant roly-poly bug, in part because (in the words of the designers): “it is really a creature we don’t see enough.”  Here and there, interesting facts about roly poly bugs are carved into the wood.

The Roly Poly Playground in Gentofte, Denmark

One dramatic playground illustrates the perils of the Bermuda Triangle, complete with broken ships, airplanes, and a surfacing whale.  Just the place for a child to safely explore some dangerous situations...

The Bermuda Triangle in North Bridge Park (Norrebroparken) in Copenhagen

All of these photos are from Monstrum's own website; I encourage you to visit the site for more pictures and projects!

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