Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
South Park, San Francisco’s oldest public park, is a unique and historical area. The park, modeled after an English strolling park, was originally built as the centerpiece of this exclusive neighborhood. Years of activity, however, took their toll and the park fell into disrepair.
The Recreation Park Department, South Park Improvement Association, park neighbors and community leaders wanted to restore it to its original glory. Fletcher Studio Landscape Architecture, an award-winning landscape architecture firm, was commissioned to develop a master plan for the park, bringing the revitalized vision to reality. The new design can be described as a contemporary interpretation of the English strolling garden.
The project entailed upgrading the park’s infrastructure, including new paths, irrigation, drainage, site lighting, landscaping, swooping meadows and a new stage area for performances.
One striking addition: a custom universal play area with undulating forms both in structure and in the mounded surface. This flowing contemporary design by Fletcher and the 100% custom designed structure by Berliner makes it a truly one-of-a-kind design, one that has never been done before!
David Yosso, President of Specified Play Equipment Company and Berliner’s exclusive representative for Northern California, calls the South Park design a “sculptural, playful art piece designed for all ages and imaginations.”
From a bird’s eye view, the play structure appears to be a perfect circle. From an elevation view, you see the undulations and curvatures.
The undulating curvatures rise from two feet to 10 feet with no visible upright posts. All posts, six of them, are below grade. The mounding underneath the playground follows the curvature of the equipment, effectively hiding the upright posts and making the structure appear to float.
The different types of nets offer various degrees of challenge with plenty of footing and handholds for children to safely climb up and down, horizontally and vertically. Net climbers offer visual transparency, keeping sight lines open.
Berliner’s proprietary Charlotte Connectors, which make the rope ends disappear inside the steel tubes, allow for tension adjustments to be made on site, resulting in a more harmonic net geometry as well as improved longevity.
This structure offers a perfect example of the optimum amount of risk with no single route and no known conclusion!
The modern, almost industrial color choice reinforces the concept that this is more than a playground; it is almost like public art, complementing the many tech-related and design companies that call South Park home.
Play elements integrated into the flowing design include a banister, which provides an elegant alternative to a slide, and a multi-user, accessible saucer swing.
The playground in any community provides a distinctive landmark; however, South Park is more than a playground. It provides a lesson in redesigning a public space; combining the play value needed by children with the aesthetic appeal and style desired by adults – making it the perfect place for the whole family.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in San Francisco. All photos courtesy of Fangzhour Miao and Chris Watkins. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at email@example.com
Pandemic is Catalyst for Extending Visitor Experiences Outside
As venues adjust their procedures and reduce visitor capacities to ensure they can welcome guests back safely, there has been a renewed focus on the great outdoors that has seen outside spaces, however large or small, becoming key investment areas and successful intersections between wellbeing, the arts, and great family connections.
Making the most of outdoor spaces now and into the future has become a priority; with guests feeling more comfortable spending time outside where they can keep a safe distance from other visitors while enjoying their family day out.
With many museums and attractions having to rethink their programs, shift their focus, and activate their outdoor spaces to offer open-air activities, exhibitions, and events, perhaps they should look to outdoor music as a gateway to the performing arts as well as a fun, engaging family learning experience?
Due to its universal appeal, music can successfully bridge intergenerational gaps. The creation of outdoor music zones for spontaneous music-making, using real-life musical instruments that are holistically interactive, engage multiple senses and are responsive, will be enjoyed by everyone – regardless of age or ability. Knowledge of music, keys, or scales is not required just the willingness to have a go and outdoor musical instruments, with their emphasis on family and multi-generational participation, will make a welcome change or refreshing addition to play spaces or discovery zones outside.
Children learn through play and experimentation and by watching and listening to the grownups they love. Participating in music activities together is the best thing any parent or caregiver can do to help set a child on the road to a lifelong love of music. Music areas or zones are a great way for families and guests to take a calm moment away from the excitement of the main attractions, step away from the crowds, decompress and experience a different kind of activity together. The collection of outdoor musical instruments available represent music-making from many cultures from around the world and therefore invite children and their families to explore global music, rhythms and movement whilst enjoying bursts of post lockdown musical creativity.
One of the many benefits of outdoor musical instruments is they can be installed almost anywhere; indoors or outdoors, on grass, on concrete, on decking, walls, or – in the case of the brand new ‘Stepping Stones’ – even underground! As the instruments are intended to be played while standing on the ground, they do not have any requirements for expensive impact-absorbing safer surfacing and require only a little routine maintenance. The instruments will make robust interactive exhibits that are designed to withstand the elements and live outside all year.
The ending of self-isolation will undoubtedly result in a resurgence of interest in authentic museum and family attraction experiences that cannot be replicated at home online. The addition of a few musical elements outdoors is a reliable way to generate interest and provide unique, educational content to guests while demonstrating an innovative solution to the social distancing challenges presented by COVID-19.
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
Goggle “INCLUSIVE PLAY” or “inclusive playgrounds” and you will find pages of entries – what it is, where you can find such playgrounds, who offers “inclusive playground equipment” and more.
Delve into this more and you will also find that many traditional inclusive playgrounds primarily focus on children with physical disabilities, failing to include those without physical disabilities or those without disabilities at all.
This raises the question: what kind of inclusion experience is it if it is neglecting over 90% of children who don’t have any disabilities at all to play?
There are many kinds of playground equipment that provide an “inclusive” experience; however, rope play equipment, net climbers, offer something for everyone, providing a more unique and ever-challenging experience for all abilities.
So, What is Inclusive Play?
In general, inclusive play bridges the gap between mainstream and children with special needs. Inclusive play enables children to better relate to one another, whether they have a special need or not, opening their eyes to the world around them.
Inclusive play enables better social integration. Learning about each other’s differences at a younger age can help children feel comfortable around those who are different.
Many children happily play together without noticing any differences. Encouraging children of all abilities to play together teaches them to treat each other the same.
Accessible or Inclusive Playground – What’s the Difference?
A 100% accessible playground goes beyond ADA Compliance, enabling
everyone to get to and move all around the playground. Children in wheelchairs could, for instance, reach the highest point of a structure through ramps. Being ADA Compliant Means…
All new and renovated parks must have an accessible path leading to the playground with nothing blocking it. A paved path and railing facilitates access for children with disabilities and helps meet ADA regulations. Integrating a very tightly stretched rope, for example, into the playground may make the use of a cane for a visually impaired child unnecessary, freeing the child’s hands for climbing. On the other hand, an inclusive playground accounts for human diversity in the community. That means, it offers barrier-free attractions while at the same time providing challenging and fun experiences for a wide variety of children – those without any disabilities along with those with ADHD, Down’s syndrome, sensory processing, visual or hearing impairments and other physical and developmental issues.
An inclusive playground offers a balance of play experiences for all abilities, achieving parallel play as much as possible. It enables children to embrace and experience their commonalities and differences as autonomously as possible and in close proximity to one another.
It is not about “leveling down” the experience nor is it necessary to remove every sandbox so that a child with little mobility does not notice that he or she cannot run.
Inclusive play and accessible play are often lumped together when accessibility is only a small part of what makes a playground inclusive. The ramps alone are merely an accessibility device and do not by themselves lead to engagement with other children. On the other hand, rope play equipment does.
How Rope Play Adds to the Inclusive Experience
Net structures, or rope play equipment, only serve to enhance the play experience for children, whether at an accessible or inclusive playground. The unique free play and net climbing configurations challenge a child’s motor skills, increase their self-confidence, stimulate imaginative play and improve muscle development and balancing skills.
One strength of rope play equipment lies in the motor challenge that they pose to children along with the endless play options. When climbing, a child’s progress requires control and focus, each step and each grip is a new decision, keeping it challenging and fun every time.
3-Dimensional vs. 2-Dimensional Rope Equipment
Two-dimensional rope structures offer paths for a child to climb vertically, horizontally or possibly across on a bridge or link.
Three-dimensional rope structures come in all shapes and sizes and are commonly referred to as space nets and net climbers. Structures can be quite tall or closer to the ground and full of low course challeng- es or a mix of both, enhancing the play experience with:
- No prescribed entry points
- No specific paths to be followed
- Open environment encourag- ing social interaction
One strength of rope play equipment lies in the motor challenge that they pose to children along with the endless play options. When climbing, a child’s progress requires control and focus, each step and each grip is a new decision, keeping it challenging and fun every time.
For every action, there is a reaction. As one child is climbing the rope structure, it causes a reaction to the other side of the structure. For children who have limited mobility or do not have the strength or desire to climb the structure, he or she can hold the rope and feel its movement, swaying back and forth, and be included in the play with others. Rope play equipment combines different difficulty levels in a single play element. For instance, older children or young adults who like to climb can romp in sections with larger distances between the ropes while younger children can test their motor skills in sections with narrower distances between the ropes. Children of all ages (and sizes) are part of the play experience.
A 3-dimensional net structure has no prescribed entry or exit point; it is up to the child to decide where to go in or come out. is, too, leads to endless play options.
It is important to note that play- grounds must meet all standards and rules of the ADA. That means that all play equipment of a certain size must have some type of transfer module, such as a transfer station or ramp, installed enabling a child to move (or transfer) from his or her wheelchair on to the play structure. The use of transfer modules enables a child in a wheelchair to reach play equipment such as a slide, providing him or her with an easy climbing challenge.
Transfer stations and ramps are not the only viable tools to ensure accessibility. The standard leaves room for alternate solutions if they result in equivalent or better usage. Access nets or other close to the ground nets meet that criteria.
On most rope structures the entire base perimeter serves as a transfer point to the climber. There is no need for an additional transfer module/deck. Rope play equipment encourages children to leave the wheelchair whenever possible.
Rope playground equipment with built-in seats, such as nest swings, are very accessible to children in wheelchairs. The spacious lying area often enables children with or without disabilities to swing together, encouraging social interaction.
The challenging nature of a low-level rope course offers visually impaired children the opportunity to climb safely as well as allowing children with hearing impairments to use sign language without hindrance.
The ropes make communicating among the children and their caregivers much easier. Some children may not speak or hear well. Play can be a wonderful tool for them to use to communicate. The transparency of the net structure enables children to use sign language when playing and eliminates barriers to visual supervision even on very busy playgrounds.
Rope equipment can incorporate elements that allow auditory, visual and tactile sensory experiences, which can capture a child’s interest, especially in children with a form of autism spectrum disorder or sensory processing disorder.
Net climbers provide a play space that brings together children with different abilities – those that may have a visual or hearing impairment, physical or mental disability or other developmental challenge – enabling them to experience their possibilities and their limits in common play, encouraging understanding and acceptance of one another.
If you would like to create a custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strawberry Energy and MKTG rolled out 10 smart benches in London with the charity of 2017
Smart city business Strawberry Energy UK has joined forces with London boroughs of Lewisham and Islington and Cancer Research UK to launch a network of Smart Benches (#SmartBenchUK) with contactless technology in time for World Cancer Day on 4th February. The solar-powered benches enhance public spaces by providing mobile device charging ports and free Wi-Fi access, as well as a place to sit and socialise.
In the world’s first use of contactless payment on the Smart Bench, the public can also donate £2 to the charity’s life-saving research to beat cancer sooner, by simply tapping their contactless debit or credit card on the Smart Bench, popping up across London.
Strawberry Energy has been working exclusively with Urban Partnerships, a division of MKTG which delivers projects within the public space that are mutually beneficial for both brands and non-profit organisations.
Cancer Research UK is the first brand to partner on the Smart Bench scheme, a network of benches across two London boroughs (Islington and Lewisham). The sites were identified as high-footfall locations by MKTG, using their strategic insight tools and location planning expertise.
This pilot of 10 Smart Benches has been installed on 31 January with full support from both boroughs, and feature a number of contactless payment locations including Islington Green and Lewisham High Street. Following the pilot, a further 10 will be installed by the end of February.
Sensors built into the smart benches monitor real-time environmental data including air quality, which users can check via the Strawberry Energy smartphone app, providing a valuable lifestyle tool for the community and feeding important data to local boroughs. This is especially relevant in support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s aim to improve the capital’s air quality. Strawberry Energy (www.smartbench.london) has taken on production and installation of the first benches, without cost to taxpayers, as part of the company’s commitment to London as a smart city.
Miloš Milisavljević, founder and CEO of Strawberry Energy, developers and owners of the Smart Bench network, said: “We have been working with London boroughs to breathe life into our dream of a network of solar-powered Smart Benches, making energy free for all Londoners. We are proud to launch our network in the lead up to World Cancer Day with a contactless fundraising innovation in aid of Cancer Research UK.
“Our charging stations bring people together, motivate them to spend more time outdoors, and enhance their enjoyment of the environment with information such as pollution sensors.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We are committed to making Islington a place where everyone can enjoy an excellent quality of life. These pioneering Smart Benches offer the best advances in smart technology and we are very pleased Islington is one of the first places in London to trial Smart Benches, and look forward to seeing how they benefit residents, workers and visitors alike.”
Councillor Rachel Onikosi, Lewisham Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, said “I’m very pleased that Lewisham is part of the start of this network of smart benches. Finding creative ways to make the most of our public spaces benefits local communities and attracts people to come and see the great things Lewisham has to offer.”
Paul Weaver, digital innovation manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Having used contactless technology in innovative ways in the past to engage the public in the work we do, we are always looking for new opportunities to incorporate contactless technology further throughout the charity and make it even easier for our supporters to help us beat cancer sooner. These Smart Benches seemed like the next step in our use of contactless technology to bring charitable giving closer to our supporters, integrating it seamlessly into cutting-edge street furniture.”
MKTG’s Urban Partnerships identified Cancer Research UK as an ideal first brand partner for Strawberry Energy and their Smart Bench network. The community can enjoy the benefits of the benches and in exchange, Cancer Research UK can maximise awareness and donations through contactless technology in the lead up to World Cancer Day.
Michael Brown, Managing Director, MKTG said: “Research shows the way in which consumers perceive brands has a huge influence on the effectiveness of that brand’s advertising. The Smart Bench network provides an opportunity for brands and local boroughs to create positive, impactful experiences for communities, who benefit from the various smart utilities provided by the network. Partnering with Strawberry Energy, we’re very excited to launch the Smart Bench Network initially with Cancer Research UK, an opportunity that will be open to more brands in the future.”
As well as making donations via these Smart Benches, Cancer Research UK is also urging the nation to wear a Unity Band® on 4 February 2017, World Cancer Day, creating one incredible #ActofUnity that will help beat cancer sooner. Get your Unity Band online for a suggested donation of £2.
Are you interested in running a successful campaign? We’re here to answer any questions! Let’s talk! Contact us at email@example.com .
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
With the opening of Margaret Mahy Playground in Christchurch, New Zealand, June 25th 2016, one of the largest and most modern playgrounds in the southern hemisphere has arisen. It was built after the major earthquake that struck New Zealand in February 2011, which affected Christchurch in particular. The project was meaningful for all those involved, but in particular for the area’s inhabitants and visitors to the playground.
The detailed planning phase from early 2013 to mid-2015 included a playground design competition held among schools in the Canterbury region. Entries to this competition helped inspire the final design as drawn up by Berliner Seilfabrik.
The playground’s layout is based on Canterbury’s four main natural habitats: “The Forest”, “The Wetlands”, “The Plains” and “Coastal”. It consists of two different parts. The first section of the playground includes a large custom-made net of 22,5 m x 15 m, stretched across two enormous masts. The net is fixed through a total of 15 anchor points whose foundations are at different heights.
One of the greatest challenges facing the team at Berliner’s Creative Centre was to procure reliable topographical data from the park designers on the ground, since the creation of artificial hills was envisaged as part of the park’s landscape. “An inaccurate calculation of a few centimetres in height difference can lead to a misfit of the whole net. This results either in a sag or a net being too short.”, Marius Kotte, Architect and Head of Construction and Development said.
To prevent this, playground concepts were created, based on which preliminary drafts were then drawn up and offered. With the completion of landscape modelling, the entire site was surveyed. The resulting three-dimensional data set was used by Berliner Seilfabrik to create a virtual site. Based on this, the play structure was conceived, manufactured and installed on site with the utmost precision.
The playground’s second section is characterised by a gigantic tower combination designed and built by Berliner Seilfabrik. The structure consists of three large towers enabling children to climb up to eight meters above ground level. A spectacular spiral slide transports children from the top back down to ground level. Each tower is enhanced by bamboo panels, which has led to their being included in Berliner’s Greenville Towers & Triis product range. “The architect requested special posts and therefore we could not use our standard connector tube.
That’s why we invented a new fastening system which bears high design requirements and the long transportation route to New Zealand. The fact that welding on site was impossible was considered, too.”, Marius Kotte says. To ensure the identification of the individual posts in New Zealand, they have been marked by laser engraving.
As a result, a new and wonderful playground is now located in the Heart of Christchurch. Not only kids are excited, but also their parents and even their grandparents. Leez O’Connell took her granddaughter to enjoy the slide despite the rain. “I think it’s fantastic. Kids aren’t allowed to climb trees or anything anymore. So I really like seeing them all climbing up there and getting a bit scared. It’s so good for them,” she said in New Zealand´s Newspaper THE PRESS.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in New Zealand. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
| Why your property development projects should smarten up?
Proptech might be a buzz word but it’s a word that any prospect investor, property developer or business leader should take seriously. Whether we are talking about shopping malls, business premises or residential areas — developing a property means looking into the future. Factoring in numbers and basic facts such as location, quality of construction, return on investment, market volatility predictions etc. — it’s clear that this is not an easy decision-making process. But if we put the fast-changing technology and sustainability challenges into this equation, it only gets more complicated.
In our digital era of hyper connectivity where people are online every waking minute and interacting with their physical surroundings in a completely different way than 10 years ago, taking into consideration how your premises correspond to new technologies is crucial. And proptech is exactly that: any technology that makes your real estate smarter and more beneficial to its visitors or residents.
How can Strawberry energy Smart Bench improve any property that seeks to attract more visitors or make everyday life in a residential area more pleasant and environmentally friendlier? To answer this question, let’s take a look at 3 important fields of property development: shopping malls / consumer interaction points, business premises and residential areas.
It’s not about shopping anymore. It’s about hanging out.
In the last decade of 20th century, shopping malls were one of the major points of interaction between a customer and a wide variety of brands — from food to retail and entertainment. Business Insider reports that “about 15% of malls in the USA will disappear in the next decade, according to a study by Green Street Advisors.” Is there a way to increase the “foot traffic” rates in the malls and retain shoppers longer on your business premises?
As technology evolves, shoppers expect the surroundings to correspond to that change. Consumers are more likely to visit the premises and do chores, seek entertainment and spend time at places where the technology works to their benefit. A forward-thinking commercial property developer will, for that reason, include several non — commercial relaxation points where visitors can relax, hang out, check their messages, charge phones and spend time without actually spending money. The benefit here is a two — way street. And that’s precisely what we had in mind when we designed our Smart Bench Mini — connectivity, relaxation and meaningful interaction for consumers but also a substantial benefit for advertisers and businesses. A possibility for shoppers to connect to WiFi via customised landing page. Smart Bench also generates reports on total number of WiFi connections and charging, total duration of charging etc. so that investors can have a clear picture of the usage statistics. All that with no maintenance required and zero carbon footprint.
Consumer relationship starts at your headquarters!
Your company is expanding, you want to hire more professionals and offer them the next-level comfortable and modern business premises that transpire high standards of your business ethics and do not compromise on environmental and aesthetic principles. Proptech solutions should be part of your real estate management requirements. It’s easy to be envious of Google or any other Silicon Valley headquarters with enormous amounts of money invested into acquiring a sustainable, wide, enjoyable and posh premises. But you can do as much as focus on your employees and clients, visitors coming to your headquarters or business locations and offer them a unique and interesting hangout place. Small talk is migrating from water coolers to outdoors, as many people want to spend their breaks outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying some fresh air. Making that experience more comfortable and enjoyable and showing that you not only take care of your employees and offer some added value to their work hours but also take care of the environment and invest in new technologies — really goes a long way, as any CSR manager would tell you.
That free hotel Wi — Fi you always wanted!
Hospitality industry is a good example of how small investment can elevate consumer experience and attract new clients. In the age of AirBnB, hotels and resorts are inclined to find new innovative incentives to engage and amaze. Sometimes a small addition can be a decisive factor for travellers. Like a solar bench by the pool where guests of the hotel can charge their phones and get information on humidity, temperature, but also make countless selfies, post them right away via free and fast WiFi network and tag your hotel. That right there is visibility for your brand that you couldn’t have hoped for.
Neighbourhood is the extension of home
Property developers know that incorporating modern technology is the best way to signal the high quality, expertise and strong vision for the future. Smart bench strikes several key factors that prospect residents are interested in: connectivity, modern design, social impact and green energy. A nice old-fashioned bench in the neighbourhood or at the apartment complex is always a good idea, but modern city dwellers demand more. They want to be informed, connected and in touch with their surroundings. As their homes become smarter, they expect the same from their neighbourhoods. Smart Bench is a spot for socialising, information and relaxation, fueled by green energy and with environmental impact of a regular bench. It can be branded and thus connect the residents to their local store or a brand they care about in a more meaningful and interesting way.
We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at email@example.com .
1. It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress
Studies have shown that physical activity outdoors lowers a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, exercise outdoors feels less strenuous than similar exercise indoors, which, in turn, pushes you closer to your maximum performance. Train outdoors, push yourself to the limit, and keep breaking your personal record!
2. Helps with insomnia
When you exercise outdoors, you get fresh air which helps to alleviate insomnia. Regular exercise and fresh air will help you to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep!
When training outdoors, you can also enjoy the benefits of sunshine. Fresh outdoor air and natural light invigorate and provide more energy for the mind and body. Sunshine provides the vitamin D that we need, you will get a suntan while training, and the sun will lift your spirits! Sunlight also enhances energy generation in the muscles and oxidation of the tissues.
When training outdoors, consider the possible harm caused by excessive sunlight, such as dehydration and sunburn. So don’t forget protective sunscreen and hydration while training outdoors!
4. Free of charge
Outdoor workouts are often completely free of charge because exercise parks, sports tracks, stairs, and other exercise locations outdoors are usually open to all and free of charge. Outdoor exercise is good for your wallet!
5. Saves time and nature
Think creatively about your surroundings and devise an intensive training session on a nearby jogging track, hill, or stairs, for example. Training locations are often closer than you think! Using nearby locations saves not only time but also natural resources since there is no need to take your car to your workout. Did you know that you can also find Yalp Interactive play and sports equipment nearby using our Activity Map?
6. Variation in your regular workout
Break the routine! Perform your indoor workout outdoors and include movements such as aerobics exercise. Did you know we have a variety of fitness games to choose from!
7. The chance to try something new
Take your workout to a new level, try something new! Take advantage of new training opportunities to add content to your standard workout, or create a whole new routine. Have you already tried activities such as parkour or street workout? Make your workout different, more effective, and refreshing!
8. Vary your regular training environment
Leave the stuffy and dark gym behind and do your workout in a fresh and bright setting outdoors, enjoying the multiple benefits of an outdoor workout. Cities offer a multitude of workout venues. Exercise parks, sports fields, stairs, and exercise areas along jogging trails provide a range of opportunities to diversify your workout and explore new training places.
9. The chance to train together
Most outdoor workout sites such as sports parks and tracks are open to everyone, free of charge. This will enable you to train and spend time exercising together with your friends and nearest and dearest, who do not go to the same gym with you. Moreover, training outdoors is an excellent opportunity to meet new people while performing your workout!
10. Better mood
All in all, outdoor exercise benefits the whole body by bringing joy, well-being, and a better mood!
If you would like further information on how the interactive playsets can benefit you; We would be more than happy to join forces with you and find the best solution tailored to your wishes. We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
It begins in a shaky fashion at the foot of Bromberg Hill. A large access net leads up to a treehouse-like tower. And this is just the beginning – the beginning of Europe’s longest climbing structure. Meandering 168 meters up the hill are a great variety of tunnels and bridges, balancing elements and rubber mats, which pass through multiple towers along the way.
“Aventura – Play Mountain” is located in Medebach, a small town and holiday resort in Hochsauerland, which attracts hikers in summer and skiers in winter. After a building phase that was completed in record time, the facility was officially opened at the end of September 2015, having already been given TÜV certification the previous month. The new “playground” is located on land provided by the town of Medebach and forms part of Center Parc, a family resort surrounded by nature. The facility can be used for free by resort guests, visitors to the region and local inhabitants alike. The idea for the construction of a large, recreational facility that was also required in some way to be the only one of its kind in Germany goes back a few years. In 2007, winter storm Kyrill left severe damage in its wake. It was Center Parc’s landscape architect and biologist, Jean Henkens who originally came up with the idea, drawing inspiration from Bromberg being known in history as “where the wind lives”. This led to the choice of air, one of the four elements, to be the underlying theme for the giant climbing structure.
The project was then further developed and implemented by the Paderborn based landscape architectural practice Gasse|Schumacher|Schramm in cooperation with Berliner Seilfabrik.
“What makes the project unusual is its scale,” explains Marius Kotte, architect and head of the construction and development department at Berliner Seilfabrik. “Above all, we needed to pay the utmost attention to project management, since the project involved a great degree of planning and development as well as the preparation and implementation of various production processes. The challenge lay in our delivering this major order whilst not neglecting our other clients and their orders.” The project was sub-divided into nine segments, the manufacture of each segment being treated as an individual contract. Structuring the project in this way ensured its completion on schedule. Rising to the challenge of new product development during the construction process proved particularly successful. A number of innovations have been incorporated into Play Mountain: several towers are being seen for the first time, as are the connections between the segments and their connective elements, e.g. between tubes and joints. Although the tallest tower is 7.8 meters high, at no point is it possible to fall any further than the legally-permitted distance of three meters.
Nets inside lead the visitor to a long, spiralling tunnel slide. Another tower is distinguished by a special feature: by lying on a viewing net, visitors can marvel at the wonderful surrounding landscape. These towers are clad in bamboo panels. Berliner Seilfabrik selected bamboo not only because it is more durable than wood, but because it makes a smaller environmental footprint. Being a grass species, after harvesting bamboo can grow again, unlike wood.Suspended between the posts inside two towers are large cocoon-like spheres, access to these being via plate-shaped nets. It was important for these elements to be as transparent as possible while still remaining safe. With this in mind, they were enclosed in a safety net of fine mesh. Such netting was also employed where a small gully is traversed by the climbing structure, at which point a classic suspension bridge is used to cross above a cliff face. Approximately 2000 metres of bright red rope has been used for the 22 connecting elements of the structure. As well as the ever-popular net tunnels and classic suspension bridges, new transitional elements can also be seen, such as the liana bridge, a narrow net walkway suspended from long ropes, not to mention a tunnel enclosed in a rubber membrane. One segment—involving a combination of sloping and balancing—is particularly challenging. It is here that the far from fully grown visitors prove to have a distinct advantage. Also popular is the so-called chessboard bridge, comprising squares of rubber stretched between holding ropes. Here, the children can hop, sway and relax.
Foundations and Impact Protection
Close to thirty six tons of steel was delivered to the building site. Almost one hundred posts were used, the heaviest of which, at 10.4 metres long, weighed 450kg. Test drilling prior to the building phase on the upper reaches of the hill in November 2014 encountered solid rock near the surface. However, while excavating the foundations in June 2015, this rock turned out to be soft shale. The foundations for the posts had to be adjusted accordingly.
On the ground beneath the towers and platforms, the steep gradients were levelled off so as to prevent the impact protection material from being washed away by rain. In some areas wood chips were chosen for impact protection, while in others, turf was selected. The colours of both these blend in with nature while also ensuring the highest safety standards. Over time the lawn areas will change into flower meadows without compromising their impact protection properties.
The gradient of the slope is approximately 21 per cent, but can vary dramatically, at some places reaching as much as 46 per cent. The technical solutions devised by Berliner Seilfabrik allow for small modifications to be carried out to the structure on site. For example, the height of the so-called T joints, which fix rope, chains and tubing to the posts, are adjustable. This allows for any minor revisions to the plan deemed necessary in situ due to vagaries of the terrain.
For Small and Not-so-small Users Alike
Climbing to the top of the structure is not easy. But those who perhaps don’t as yet dare to go through the towers or cross the bridges can play to their heart’s content at the lower end of the facility in an area specially designed for small children. Here they are welcomed by two large nest-swings and “Trii”, a small tree house with a slide. For accompanying adults, a paved path runs parallel to the entire climbing structure.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in Medebach. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at email@example.com
Author: Bojana Borković, Business Development Executive at Strawberry energy
Smart and digital technologies have changed our lives so drastically in the last decade that practically, there is not an industry, field of work or creative process that doesn’t require some sort of digitalization and tech application. Architects and engineers are especially motivated to apply smart technologies, not only in order to optimize the results and improve the efficiency, but to keep up with tech trends and answer to the development of future cities and people’s lives, now completely immersed in tech.
In order to create a smart, digitized, but above all — human future cities, and deliver the real value for the communities, where the experience and quality of life of the smart tech users are a priority, we’ve assembled some guidelines that professionals from the industry might want to pay attention to and apply in their future projects.
The four key points smart furniture in public spaces should focus on are: tourism, community, disabled people and family.
Fulfilling these four points makes smart city furniture overall beneficial for the quality of life in the public spaces.
Smart Bench has already proven to be a popular and efficient project that impacts all four domains of smart furniture public realm. Apart from being a popular meeting point and complementing the city’s outdoors by appealing design, here are some important benefits that Smart Bench provides:
1. Tourism — a fast and free WiFi hotspot, essential for tourists when they want to access important information on their location, plan routes, check maps, send messages to friends and family and post to social media.
Having a smart bench in the public spaces also means never having to worry about your phone battery running out while you’re out having fun. Smart Bench offers charging cords plus wireless charging ports to suit all types of smartphones. By offering this kind of high level of connectivity, Smart Bench allows a more valuable outdoor experience for all tourists and members of the community.
2. Community — Benches in public spaces have always represented a beloved point of social interactions for young and old, but also a piece of oasis in an urban landscape. As our lives become more tech — dependent and digitized, Smart Bench needs to fulfill the social aspect and utility of the old fashion bench, but also to support the modern-day thirst for technology, smart design and sustainability. Our Smart Bench encompasses all of these properties, providing a great asset for any playground or communal area where people from the community, families can interact, take a break and enjoy the surroundings.
From the social participation point, Smart Bench represents a valuable means for the local governments to obtain information and data that may help the decision-making process when it comes to introducing bills and measures important for the quality of life of the community. The data obtained from the Smart Bench can give a better insight on foot traffic at that location, number of chargings speaks of the mobile usage and technological needs of the people frequenting that particular location etc.
3. Accessibility to disabled — It is important to emphasize the accessibility of Smart Bench to disabled persons. It is designed to be easily accessible to all people with disabilities and provide a safe and valuable experience for equal opportunities across the whole society. WiFi connection allows integration in the City IoT platform or integration in the city’s emergency control center. These possibilities are key to creating safer, more efficient smart cities and could enhance the quality of life immensely in the future, if applied throughout the urban zones.
4. Family: What every parent wants is a safe environment for their children to play, grow and learn. Smart Bench is a great asset to any playground and neighborhood. Smart Bench offers an opportunity for children to learn about renewable sources of energy, to practice responsible and sustainable behaviour and check the weather data, air quality together with their parents. Parents can charge their phones while watching the kids play, but also provide a valuable learning lesson. After they charge their phone and connect to the free WiFi network, they can talk to their youngsters about green energy and explain how our phones can be charged using nothing but solar energy. We would like to set the younger generations onto the path of preserving nature and sustainable energy resources because that is the right way to prepare them for the future where these topics will be substantial points of economic growth and overall well being of the city dwellers. Smart Bench has 0 carbon footprint and is solar-powered, allowing the members of the community to enjoy the connectivity and benefits of energy in a sustainable and responsible way.
As we head into the second decade of the 21st century, it becomes even more important that the technological progress and life improvements that come with it, stay complementary with the social and personal needs of every member of the community, families, elderly citizens and disabled. To provide a more modern but at the same time, efficient and equal opportunities benefits in the realm of smart IoT experience.
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Children’s museums represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the museum community and have been rapidly increasing in number since their beginnings, with new initiatives and exhibitions seeing visitor numbers swell.
With a clear message of fun and learning for all – Children’s museums are unique places that bring children, families, and communities together and provide memorable, immersive learning experiences, provoke the imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matters, and offer unique environments for quality time with family.
These museums incorporate an array of activities that contribute to the mental, physical, affective, and social development of children. Museum educators strive to develop programs and activities that address literacy, performing arts, science and math, visual arts, cultures, and health and wellness.
Children represent the leaders of the future – our upcoming innovators, scientists, politicians, CEOs, musicians, artists, teachers, and community members. They shape what the world will become, and engaging this audience is essential. However, while a child may be the reason behind a trip to a children’s museum, it’s an adult that makes the decision to make the visit, assess the experience and decide if they would return. Children’s museums must evolve from engaging only children to engaging the entire family to bring fresh perspectives to exhibits and programs to continue to thrive.
The interactions among family members, spurred by a visit to the museum, can result in a greater sense of family connectedness. Today, family groups come in all different shapes and sizes, from children visiting with their parents or grandparents and even great-grandparents to caregivers with children aging from babies to teens. Whereas some embrace visiting museums with a multi-generational group, it can sometimes be difficult keeping the youngest in your group engaged at the same time as the older ones.
Due to its universal appeal, music can successfully bridge intergenerational gaps. Making music brings people together like nothing else and offering quality musical opportunities – on real instruments – for spontaneous music-making, provides a gateway to the performing arts as well as an engaging family learning experience.
Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together and helps children develop important skills essential for success in life, such as concentration, confidence, and self-esteem. Young children learn through play and experimentation and by watching and listening to the grownups they love. Setting an example as an enthusiastic participator in music activities is the best thing any parent or caregiver can do to help set a child on the road to a lifelong love of music. Unfortunately, some parents avoid making music with their children in everyday life because they feel inadequate as music-makers themselves. This is a true loss for both generations.
Percussion Play instruments address these feelings of inadequacy by being so simple and easy to play that anyone, regardless of age, ability, or experience, can create interesting and fresh melodies – perfect for beginners and reluctant players. The use of the pentatonic scale in many instruments makes them excellent for improvisation; you can just play around and never hit anything inordinately dissonant in a kind of safe musical haven. The technique is not a problem, given the simplicity of the instruments. Dissonance is not a problem, given the pentatonic scale.
Outdoor musical instruments, with their emphasis on family and multi-generational participation, make a welcome change; often discovery and play spaces have been perceived, either because of their design or because it was assumed, as places for kids only, and adults just stood and watched or wandered off to see the rest of the museum. Through musical play, you are teaching the power and value of music to your child. The result: a joyful, musical child, enhanced family relationships, and a strong, musical community.
Read how outdoor musical instruments were included in the Treetops Outpost at the Connor Prairie outdoor history museum, located in Indiana. The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum created a mini music station in their entranceway following a gift from a private donor who specifically wanted to see a musical instrument exhibit in the museum.
We appreciate that not all museums have outdoor facilities or outdoor spaces large enough to accommodate a musical garden or playground. Space was at a premium at the Building For Kids Museum in Wisconsin, but that didn’t stop the Education Coordinator creating a wonderful musical wall in their Arts Studio. For further inspiration check out our case study where the Minnesota Children’s Museum created the exhibit ‘Creativity Jam’ – a musical playground, featuring five Percussion Play instruments, that allows visitors to quite literally jam with family, friends and other visitors, all indoors.
Such shared music-making can facilitate and strengthen relationships between parents or caregivers and their children. What’s more, with all our instruments being designed with inclusive play in mind – nobody is excluded from the fun whatever their ability, mobility, or age. Providing musical experiences for family audiences (indoors or out) is a valuable way to advance a thriving museum’s mission, expand its audience, and strengthen its place within the community.