Imagination Playground is a complement to more conventional outdoor play spaces for children. Conceived by architect David Rockwell, it represents a public-private collaboration between his firm, Rockwell Group, and the City of New York. The 15,000 square-foot playground will be located at Burling Slip in the historic South Street Seaport. Imagination Playground has three key components: an open multi-level space with large sand and water features, a wide array of “loose parts” and “play workers.” Successfully implemented in European models, “play workers” are on-site trained staff that helps facilitate activities with children. Rockwell’s design captures Burling Slip’s rich maritime and commercial history, and incorporates amphitheater seating and a “crow’s nest” that has a double function as storage for loose parts. Rather than prescribe activities, the new concept suggests options and provides a flexible armature for many types of play. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2007.
view larger image