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July 7, 2015 AT 2:00 am

Nobody Does Playgrounds Like the Brutalists #makereducation

16 The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill Photo by Tristan Fewings Getty Images for RIBA 1024x683

We love the focus on playground design as an integral part of encouraging young minds to explore and grow! From Wired:

By today’s standards, the playground at Churchill Gardens Estates, in East London, would be considered a death trap. Like most Brutalist housing complexes, this one, designed in the late 1940s by architecture firm Powell and Moya, had a play space nestled into the center of its soaring concrete towers. But this was a very different sort of playground. There were no swings or slides or sandboxes—instead, a precarious-looking pathway of hexagonal-shaped steps led up to a tiled concrete disc that looked like it landed on Earth from a cold, hard alien planet.

In archival photos (slide three), you see kids gleefully mounting the concrete stairs and running around the 16-foot-diameter disc. It looked—dare I say it?—fun. Of course, the playground has since been torn down. Eventually, the concrete and steel gave way to safer playground equipment. You can still see the disc, though. It has been recreated in an exhibition at the the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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