Favorite Play! Spaces

written by:
July 28, 2011

We love to play and love places that celebrate our inner, creative, kidlike selves—we dedicated our July/August 2011 issue to the subjects of families, kids, and play after all. The editors of the new Gingko Press book Play! Indoor and Outdoor hand-selected 58 of the best projects for playing from around the world, ranging in program from day cares to schools to playgrounds. Here we feature five of our favorites from the book (and in an upcoming post we'll showcase another five as well).

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  Design Play, published by Viction:ary, distributed in the United States by Gingko Press
    Design Play, published by Viction:ary, distributed in the United States by Gingko Press
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  The Dragen Children's House designed by C. F. Møller Architects is one of Denmark's first kindergartens to be built to Passive House (or Passivehaus) standards. The low-energy building uses high levels of insulation and a tight envelope that allows for efficient heat recycling, among other features.
    The Dragen Children's House designed by C. F. Møller Architects is one of Denmark's first kindergartens to be built to Passive House (or Passivehaus) standards. The low-energy building uses high levels of insulation and a tight envelope that allows for efficient heat recycling, among other features.
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  Inside the Dragen Children's House, the sustainable building approach is reflected in the tree motifs and the green materials, many of which are Nordic Ecolabel certified. The double-height space features a dramatic central area with stairs that double as seating and a raised stage and background for performances.
    Inside the Dragen Children's House, the sustainable building approach is reflected in the tree motifs and the green materials, many of which are Nordic Ecolabel certified. The double-height space features a dramatic central area with stairs that double as seating and a raised stage and background for performances.
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  Believe it or not, the Ku65 Kids Club in Berlin is a dentist office. The client hired design firm Graft to design a children-focused addition to the clinic.
    Believe it or not, the Ku65 Kids Club in Berlin is a dentist office. The client hired design firm Graft to design a children-focused addition to the clinic.
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  Graft's idea for the dentist office was to create a dunelike topography to give visitors a sense of being at the ocean rather than a fear-inspiring setting. Imagine waking up here after being sedated; you might wonder if you'd really woken up or were still dreaming.
    Graft's idea for the dentist office was to create a dunelike topography to give visitors a sense of being at the ocean rather than a fear-inspiring setting. Imagine waking up here after being sedated; you might wonder if you'd really woken up or were still dreaming.
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  One of the most elegant projects in Play! is the Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo designed by Tezuka Architects. The inside and outside completely dissolve into one another when the sliding glass doors are open (which they are for two thirds of the year). The floor of the oval structure is situated at nearly the same grade as the interior courtyard, further eliminating the sense of interior and exterior.
    One of the most elegant projects in Play! is the Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo designed by Tezuka Architects. The inside and outside completely dissolve into one another when the sliding glass doors are open (which they are for two thirds of the year). The floor of the oval structure is situated at nearly the same grade as the interior courtyard, further eliminating the sense of interior and exterior.
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  In addition to the space inside the building, the top of the Fuji Kindergarten is also fully functional as a walkway and playspace. Large trees grow through the structure and provide rooftop shape.
    In addition to the space inside the building, the top of the Fuji Kindergarten is also fully functional as a walkway and playspace. Large trees grow through the structure and provide rooftop shape.
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  Ponzano Primary School in Ponzano Veneto, Italy, is a school for 375 students, ages six through ten. Though the layout, a building surrounding a central courtyard, harks back to monastic design, its environmental cred is 100 percent 21st century. The school features a green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, solar panels, and more.
    Ponzano Primary School in Ponzano Veneto, Italy, is a school for 375 students, ages six through ten. Though the layout, a building surrounding a central courtyard, harks back to monastic design, its environmental cred is 100 percent 21st century. The school features a green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, solar panels, and more.
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  The playful graphics of the window decals and boy-girl bathroom indicators give the sleek spaces in the Ponzano Primary School a playful touch.
    The playful graphics of the window decals and boy-girl bathroom indicators give the sleek spaces in the Ponzano Primary School a playful touch.
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  In the Kids' Republic in Shanghai, designed by Sako Architects, color and material denote space differentiation. On the second floor, the space shifts from office area (the log slice displays are actually long desks) to activity zone (under the bark-clad dome).
    In the Kids' Republic in Shanghai, designed by Sako Architects, color and material denote space differentiation. On the second floor, the space shifts from office area (the log slice displays are actually long desks) to activity zone (under the bark-clad dome).
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  Inside the activity zone at the Kids' Republic in Shanghai, irregular holes open onto the ceiling, the outdoors, and built-in bookcases. The stepped, carpeted area creates spaces for sitting, lying, or watching or taking part in a performance. Check back to dwell.com soon for five more favorite projects from the upcoming Gingko Press book Play! Indoor and Outdoor.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    Inside the activity zone at the Kids' Republic in Shanghai, irregular holes open onto the ceiling, the outdoors, and built-in bookcases. The stepped, carpeted area creates spaces for sitting, lying, or watching or taking part in a performance. Check back to dwell.com soon for five more favorite projects from the upcoming Gingko Press book Play! Indoor and Outdoor.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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