Written by: Staff Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 .
With summer just a few months out, days spent at the beach and swimming pool will soon be here again. However, for residents of Tychy, Poland, there is another option for keeping cool during those hot summer days. Tychy recently saw the completion of a unique water playground set along the Gostynia river. Designed by local architects, RS+, this peanut-shaped aquatic playground puts a whimsical spin on water games.
One of the first things you’ll probably notice about this water playground is its distinctive shape, which we’ve already likened to a peanut. The reason for this shape is not any sort of affinity for nuts on the behalf of the designer. It was designed as such to match the contours of the landscape and prevent removing any trees. The sinuous boundary of the playground is defined by the location of numerous trees which provide shade for the play area. Minimizing the intrusion on the natural landscape was such an important priority for this project that even the control room has been disguised. The “technical rooms,” as they are translated in the architect’s description, have been covered with grass so that they aren’t rendered an unusable space.
Even the fence itself was given great consideration. While necessary for keeping animals and runaway toddlers out of the water basin, RS+ wanted to be sure that it reflected the natural landscape. Exotic hardwood has been used throughout the fence which is a parametric structure based on sine waves. These gentle undulations tap into the nearby movement of the river and the soft slopes of the park.
What is contained within this fence, is on the other hand almost cartoonish. The bright colors and odd shapes of the water fountains recall the fantasy world of many children’s books, in particular Dr. Seuss. The bold colors of the plant-like water toys were selected so as to differentiate them based on the way they perform. Across the bright blue basin – which features a non-slip surface for the safety of running children – the water toys vary from mild spurts to blasting jets. At the center, a sculpture resembling a bouquet of flowers streams water down onto anyone standing below. In addition to the Dr. Seuss quality of the shapes, one might also see in this water playground a resemblance to the lively singing garden featured in Alice in Wonderland; certainly, the flora here is just as playful.
Even when the sun goes down, the fun continues. At night, the playground is transformed into a fountain show lit up by programmable LEDs. Even though we’re sure they keep people out during this evening show, we’d be tempted to go play in it when it’s all lit up.