10 Playgrounds With Modern Twists

Playgrounds have followed the same architectural playbook since they premiered in the 19th century—a few swings, a slide or two, and maybe some monkey bars.

As research proves to show how important these communal spaces can be for childhood development, the need for mindful redesigns have become apparent. Over the past decade, architects have reconsidered these structures and have brought them into the modern world. 

1. Playground - Boadilla del Monte, Spain

This airy dreamscape was imagined and designed by Spanish architects Eduardo Navadijos and Csaba Tarsoly in the city of Boadilla del Monte. Clean facades and wide pavilions make for a sunny yet protective structure. It’s perfect for uninhibited fun on summer days.

2. Génicart Playground - Bordeaux, France

BASE Landscape Architecture developed this perforated structure in Bordeaux, France. The industrial playground is a modern addition of the Génicart housing community of the 1960s. It revives the location with complementary rectangular lines, a sunlit hue, and a compact hub for children to gather and play.

3.  Brutalist Playground - London, England

There’s nothing brutal about the interior of this Brutalist-inspired playground in the Royal Institute of British Architects. Pastel foam replaces the cold cement shapes found at most vintage British Brutalist playgrounds. Its edgy, off-kilt angles are balanced with its soft hues and materials. Together, this modern spin-off designed by Assemble repackages the stern structures of the past into a sweet and palpable escape.

4. Pulse Park - Kildebjerg Ry, Denmark

Perfect for all ages, this CEBRA-designed playground is equal arts practical and whimsy. Denmark’s Pulse Park playground is a life-sized geometric garden of interactive equipment. Itces whimsical aesthetic contrasts the otherwise calm landscape of Kildebjerg Ry. It encourages playful athleticism as well as tranquil relaxation.

5. Rooftop Playground - Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Danish architecture group Julien de Smedt added a playful touch to this apartment rooftop playground in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. Flowing pavements roll within the gated space to maximize space for playing ball, taking a stroll, or simply soaking in the sun. This swirly rooftop breaks up the rigidity of the surrounding housing complex and invites residents to smile and unwind.

6. Bamboo Playhouse - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This island playhouse is integrated into its tropical environment. The Bamboo Playhouse in Kuala Lumpur is located in the middle of lush gardens and is constructed with traditional Malaysian techniques. Architect Eleena Jamil used traditional materials for a modern application. Bamboo serves as an extremely strong, ventilated, and airy material to compose this 320-square-meter space.

7.  Sam + Pam Playground - British Columbia, Canada

Sam + Pam is a compact playhouse with a minimal aesthetic by the Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers Inc. These two hollow pallet structures provide plenty of room for children to take turns crossing the rope bridge that joins them. Even more impressive is its ability to fit in a eight-square-foot space.

8. Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium Playground, Abu Dhabi

This Abu Dhabi playground compartmentalizes the senses within each interactive unit. This four-part playground is located in the popular and exquisite Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and was designed by Free Play creative studio. People of all ages are encouraged to swing, crawl, and feel their way through each shaded experience.

9.  Blaxland Riverside Park - Sydney, Australia

The playground of Australia’s Blaxland Riverside Park is modern, metallic, and mammoth in size. Spanning 300 meters, this space includes enormous slides, climbing walls, and its very own miniature water park. Courtesy of the architects at  JMD Design, this playground has hours of engagement to offer for everyone of all sizes.

10. Wikado Playground - Rotterdam, Netherlands

At first glance, you’d never guess this playground was built with recycled wind turbine blades. The prevalence of windmills in the Netherlands inspired architect group 2012Architecten to reimagine ways to use scrap parts. This playground celebrates Dutch industrial culture with originality, modernity, and most of all—safety. Its simplicity reminds us that imagination is the prerequisite for fun.


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