Various playground designs for City of Montreal parks. The general project approach is to provide original spaces and interact with existing urban context, using playful elements. Specific thoughts also include sustainable development strategies, especially for surface water management, with planted water detention and retention basins.
The design of a new play area in one of Montreal’s larger public parks was an interesting opportunity to revisit the public’s expectations regarding play areas. In the case of Jarry Park, many people coming from the diverse surrounding communities and neighborhoods use the green space for a wide range of active and passive recreation activities throughout the year. The result is a low- lying, mostly horizontal play area that remains highly accessible for all users.
To design the playground, a contemporary and experiential approach was used to create a modern urban adventure path, preserving existing trees and keeping all excavated materials on site to create topography. It is experienced as a series of tasks to complete along a linear and flexible path around the site.
Through the use surprising and unconventional play equipment, earthworks, unexpected shapes and playful design elements that go beyond definitions of traditional playground elements.
An interactive timber footpath, inspired by the space’s topography, vegetation and materials, meanders through a grove of Maple trees and leads from one play area to another, allowing seating for parents, lounging for teenagers and a diversity of improvised play opportunities for younger adventurers. A series of boulders and expressive painted surfaces offer a three dimensional obstacle course of colors and textures around the entire site. Multiple directions and trails provide many ways of discovering the site and to keep the playground new and fresh at every visit.
This project also proposes an ecological approach to surface runoff and water management through the use of filtration basins planted with ornamental grasses, native shrubs and hardy perennials. To add color and interest, bird houses were carefully placed close to the play area for the enjoyment of parents and children alike. The birdhouses emphasize the richness of the local bird community and overall biodiversity within this large park.