studioMLA Attends Opening of New Fayerweather Outdoor Environment

studioMLA Architects recently attended the Fayerweather Street School’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, inaugurating their new outdoor play and learning space. During the collaborative design process, studioMLA guided the Fayerweather community of administrators, teachers, parents, and children to realize three major goals: that the new playground is physically challenging to promote healthy risk-taking; that it fosters cooperative, multi-age play; and that it provides cozy and discrete spaces that encourage creative and dramatic play.

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A custom-built “Giant Slide”, 10 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 20 feet long promoting cooperative and multi-age play

“Joanne [Hiromura, studioMLA’s landscape architect] was invaluable in helping us articulate what we hoped our new playground space would provide for our children and then made that vision a reality,” said Ed Kuh, Fayerweather Street School’s Head of School. “With studioMLA’s design expertise and leadership, the playground project has transformed and expanded our community and learning environment and elevated the level of our facilities. The smiles and laughter on our playground tell us that we have succeeded beyond what we could have imagined.”

Playground features include three impressive and physically challenging climbing structures, an artificial turf field for running, tumbling, pick-up games, as well as supporting their physical education curriculum; an enlarged sand play area with a water pump and troughs, a “secret play garden” featuring a willow branch hut; a trike “roadway” linking “loading docks” to natural building areas, and a variety of seating areas and decks for outdoor classroom opportunities and just “hanging out.”

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“Spinning Tree”, a 15-foot high spinning rope ‘pine cone’ encouraging climbing for various skill levels and communication among children