During a week when most college students are focused on barreling through their last final and heading home for a holiday break, fourth-year landscape architecture students were spending an unseasonably warm December day building a shade structure for preschoolers.
Davies White Landscape Architects gained national recognition for their Crow Wood Playscape in Cheshire when they won a Landscape Institute Design Award earlier this year. The project sits in the historic National Trust woodland estate at Lyme Park in Cheshire and is now open all year round.
Their Playscape design approach is an innovative way to encourage children to create their own play and shape it within and around the natural landscape. Crow Wood Playscape features a bespoke tree house, interconnecting timber and rope walkways, giant willow eggs, two tunnels, a wide slide and huge badger set.
The Woodland Discovery Playground was designed by Shelby Farm Park Conservatory’s Master Plan design firm, James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), and the design process was anything but ordinary. To create the next great 21st century play landscape, SFPC and JCFO went straight to experts—local kids. The site for the Woodland Discovery Playground is situated on an existing twenty-year-old play area and edged by woodland that has been overtaken by Chinese Privet. The design of the playground capitalizes on its location with a woodland restoration project and significant new native plantings that enmesh the play space with its surroundings.
Within its wooded context, outdoor play at Shelby Farms Park will promote discovery, provoke challenges, embrace delight, encourage creativity, build relationships, and cultivate healthy children’s development. The new Woodland Discovery Playground will shape an environment that allows for change, transformation, and growth; that reflects theories about how children learn, develop, and play; and that meaningfully engages with the entire Memphis community.
Like many professions, medicine being an example, landscape architecture is beginning to subdivide into specializations informed by empirical evidence………
At NLI, we believe that landscape architects are a crucial partner in creating new types of landscapes to support active, outdoor lifestyles in childhood. We urge state chapters to get on board, to refocus Olmsted’s vision of landscape architecture as a public health intervention, and to appoint representatives to the new Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network (PPN) hosted by ASLA.
An interesting quick read about how landscape architects can provide necessary spaces for children.