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Urban Playground

This temporary urban playground in a Melbourne city laneway makes use of the humble milk crate, writes Mandi Keighran.

Urban Playground


August 18th, 2011

City_Leaks have found a use for the humble milk crate that elevates it beyond makeshift student furniture. PlayMo is a multi-use destination in Drewery Alley in Melbourne’s CBD, that transforms as visitors interact with the temporary urban playground.




“PlayMo was born from the intention of inventing a space that turns into a place where people meet, spend time, and play,” say the designers. Named after ’playmobil’ – a children’s toy reminiscent of Lego – each milk crate is used as a playful building element. “Materials work best if they relate to a place, like milk crates do to Melbourne’s coffee and laneways culture,” says City_Leaks.



A ’deposit box’ forms an integral part of the installation. Here, visitors can leave notes for the designers with comments and feedback. Their favourite comment to date was a note reading: ’You are a 3D Banksy’.


“We think it is fantastic to have places in the city you can communicate with,” says City_Leaks. “They become destinations.”



City_Leaks will soon be taking the building philosophy behind PlayMo to Aarhus in Denmark. At the Bellastock Festival, they will build an ephemeral city from beer crates.

“Crates are a fantastic material, but we keep developing new strategies with new material,” says the group.

City_Leaks is a collective of architects that seeks to inspire urban dwellers. The group acts as a hub for like-minded people to share and realise ideas.


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