David Rockwell Keeps to Playground Design Plans


An interesting piece from the Wall Street Journal about an alteration of career plans for famous theatrical/building designer, David Rockwell. Known for his work building backdrops for big name Broadway shows and even serving as the lead architect for the theaters themselves (he designed and built the Kodak Theater in LA), he’s recently decided that he’s still very into the playground designing market (for kids, specifically), the first of which should be completed sometime within the next year in NY. All this in the name of making urban life a little more kid-friendly and kid-encouraging. Here’s a bit:

Next month, he and his firm will break ground on the Imagination Playground at South Street Seaport’s Burling Slip. Funded by private donations and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, it will forswear slides and jungle gyms and instead employ an open multilevel space with large sand and water features, dams, cables, pulleys and an array of “loose parts” — toys and tools that kids can use to alter the environment. And on July 9 the architect and KaBOOM! — a not-for-profit playground builder — unveiled, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, his first playground-in-a-box — a collection of large toys and playthings crafted from molded foam and plastic.

For further reading, here’s an older, but lengthy profile on Rockwell from Fast Company, and here’s another take on his playground move from the NY Times.