Bringing the scale down to their level while doing away with the typical clash of colours – this collection of children’s play spaces show what the future of designing for kids looks like.
October 9th, 2019
From libraries to dedicated play spaces, these five projects from across the Asia Pacific are a breath of fresh air for their whimsical and creative design.
Set in Sydney and designed by PAL Design in collaboration with Frost*Collective, NUBO is an antidote to the expected play spaces. Natural materials, light and bright are the core principles of NUBO – while wanting to bring a level of intelligence for the end user. The title, ‘NUBO’, means cloud in Esperanto, a universal language devised in the 19th century to meltdown borders and foster worldwide harmony between nationalities. Zoned with play equipment for big kids, to a library and open zones for arts and crafts, NUBO offers something for just about every kid. And the design is a nice respite for the parents while they’re there.
A library in Shanghai designed just for kids, Sissi’s Wonderland is full of curves and a welcoming cosiness. The fit-out of the play space includes pockets and corners to hide away with a book and lots of low-level shelving for easy access. Designed by Muxin Studio, founder Sun Hao Chen says: “This project is very special because our real clients are the children who use the space. We had to regard ourselves as children in order to understand what would appeal to them.” Children are encouraged to engage with the space in their own way, while the soft material palette of carpets and timber offer a place to escape the hubbub of city life.
In Bangkok, 2019 INDE.Award prodigy nominees NITAPROW has designed Playville Nursery. Similarly in its palette and aesthetic to NUBO and Sissi’s Wonderland, Playville Nursery features natural timbers and softer touches for an overall healthy and warm environment. The space has been divided up into four zones inspired by the geological diversity of nature encouraged the designers to identify four zones – The Fog & Tree Tunnel, The Hill & The Burrow, The Dune & The Oasis and The Island & The Lakes. Even though the material palette is paired back, there is still plenty of fun, with ball pits, slides, sandpits, cubbies and climbing – this is a play space for young and old alike.
Not solely designed for children, but still integrating plenty of design thinking into how kids will interact with the space, Bulit Panjang Public Library in Singapore is a futuristic environment for knowledge and learning. Designed by Grey Canopy users of the space can journey through varied landscapes filled with books and multimedia. Lots of curves bring special places to sit and read, while colour has been applied with thought and care. A multimedia storytelling room uses images, lights and sound effects to create an immersive environment.
Amping up the colour, Neobio by X+Living is an immersive and fantastical play space set in a shopping mall. Is this the future of kids entertainment? Neobio features a maze, a life-sized Sims city park and a variety of themed eating areas for parents to kick back. It’s a new take on the traditional amusement park, reinvigorated for the twenty-first century. A wonderland of games and rides have been integrated to create an interactive environment of surprise and delight. Although much more vibrant than some of the other play spaces on this list, Neobio uses its indoor setting to its advantage.
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