Through the kaleidoscope...

Thursday 26 Apr 2012

MBA designs 'a haven for terminally ill children' in Kuwait City

MBA have designed a kaleidoscopic observation wheel, magic carpet and walkway which lead above the rooftops culminating in an observation platform which overlooks a flamingo feeding ground, nature reserve and the Persian Gulf. The playground structures are intended to capture the spirit of adventure while being friendly, fun, exciting and, importantly, accessible to both mobile and wheelchair-dependent patients.

The focal point of the hospice playground is a 15m kaleidoscope wheel. Designed to create a sense of drama and spectacle, the wheel will enable the children to sail above the building roofline to enjoy long distance views. The 8 circular ‘pods’ can accommodate a maximum capacity of 40, with 5 passengers per pod. All of the pods can safely accommodate a wheelchair user. The pods are naturally ventilated and shaded by a perforated canopy in rainbow colours, reflecting the rainbow segments of the wheel itself.

The ‘Magic Carpet’ walkway appears to sweep and float between its curved supports. It is shaded by an undulating, perforated aluminium canopy that changes colour as it rises to the first floor level and has protective sides inspired by the patterns on butterfly wings; all of which provide an otherworldly, enchanted experience for the children.

The Rooftop Walkway takes children above the rooftops to enjoy the long distance views across the nearby nature reserve and out to sea. It has been developed as a series of three arched-boxes shaded with patterns, also inspired by butterfly wings and supported on structural columns between the buildings. The balustrades incorporate images within their perforations that tell a number of the best loved Kuwaiti children’s stories.

The Observation Platform is a destination for the children where they can use telescopes and binoculars to view the flamingos feeding on the coast, in season.

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