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The Boundless Playspace

By Cara Culliver, Culliver Design, Inc.




This Ormand Beach, Fla., installation was created to provide children with mobility challenges and other needs with an inclusive space to play. Custom-painted Breakwater style backed bench seating was installed near the play area, and brightly colored picnic tables (Keystone Ridge Designs) were installed on synthetic turf for easy access and maintenance.


The city of Ormond Beach, Fla., wanted to build an inclusive playground where children of all abilities could learn and play side by side. There were two objectives for the playground design - first, to be "boundless," so children could gain the important physical benefits of active play regardless of personal impairment; second, to create a park atmosphere within the playground.

With these goals in mind, after reviewing several possibilities, designers chose a concept featuring a "curvilinear spine" walkway, which met the design criteria and worked well within the allotted space.

The "spine" came into being as an eight-foot wide walkway, curving through the park and leading to different play areas. When visitors enter the park, Spartan junipers flank the entrance on either side. To the right is the Xscape playground by GameTime (ages 2-5), a modern, open-design play system that encourages stretching, upper body fitness, unique movements and fun.

 




The wide walkway leads to a large arched climbing rock and a swing set. An elevated sand table has sand diggers so children in wheelchairs can participate.

Several features, including the climbing wall, slide, circuits, balance beam and rings are shaded by a canopy to provide protection from the hot Florida sunshine. Two brightly colored airplane spring riders were added as a reference to the nearby airport control tower. (The playground is located at the Airport Sports Complex, off Hull Road in Ormond Beach.) Just left of the walkway, a smaller swing set finishes out the area for the 2-5-year-olds.

Midway through the park, older children will find a 60-foot diameter circle that holds a brightly colored, custom-built play system by GameTime. Children with mobility issues can conquer the play equipment because of the ADA-approved six-foot doublewide ramps that allow children to pass without having to wait for a turn or a clear path.

 




A raised curb edging lined the walkways to contain the mulch and provide separation between the playground and planting areas. A rubber surfacing area 60 feet in diameter was installed with an abstract design in custom colors to match the play structure.

 

The design team chose a custom color scheme for the equipment to add contrast to the play area. A thermoplastic vulcanized rubber (TPV) surfacing with an abstract design complements the play structure.

Features of the larger play structure include a spiral slide, double slide, vertical clover climbers, rings, horizontal inchworm climber, activity panels, talk tubes, telescopes, kaleidoscope, steering wheels, a rockscape and beat drums, to name a few. Three shade canopies provide ample shade above the structure. Custom-painted Breakwater style backed bench seating was provided by Keystone Ridge Designs, and spread throughout the park for children and their parents. Three brightly colored picnic tables were also installed near the play area, with synthetic turf underneath for easy maintenance. Large shade trees were placed within the area to provide additional respite from the sun. At the rear of the park, wide walkways lead to a large swing set and the elevated sand table, which has sand diggers so children in wheelchairs can also participate. A large arched rock for climbing was installed behind the sand area.

 




The 2-5-year-old and 5-12-year-old play areas are linked by an eight-foot wide "curvilinear spine" walkway that makes it easy for children with mobility issues to travel between the structures.

 

A raised curb edging was used along the walkways to provide separation between the playground, specialty mulch and pine bark within the planting areas. To create a park-like atmosphere within the playground, large cathedral oak shade trees were added in planting areas along the left side of the walkway. Trees were also planted behind seating benches and in the picnic area. The plant palette included orange bulbine, hamelin fountain grass, dwarf yaupon holly, weeping yaupon holly, lavender crape myrtles, cathedral oaks and red flowering upright bottlebrush trees. The plants are easy to maintain, soft to the touch and provide seasonal color throughout the year.

 




Two brightly colored "airplane spring riders" were added as a reference to the nearby airport control tower. The Xscape playground (GameTime, ages 2-5) is shaded by a strategically placed canopy.

 





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November 13, 2019, 7:51 pm PDT

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