‘Dune’ playground in Moscow

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Architecture firm: Druzhba

Completion year: 2019

Project location: Moscow, Russia

The Dune project is based on Druzhba’s own methodology which uses the analysis of children’s spatial perception and design experience. The analysis was performed by the educational project Koni Na Balkone, whose architectural workshops for kids are the research basis for Druzhba’s projects.

Druzhba promotes the values and principles of child-friendly spaces, both among developers and municipal governments. A project for a Moscow residential complex titled ‘Malaya Ordynka 19’ provides an example of shared values between the customer and the architect. The Dune playground was created together with Sminex developing company, which also built the ‘Malaya Ordynka 19’ complex. This way architects can make changes in residential area landscapes.

In their work, Druzhba architects prefer to use abstract forms instead of themed images. Children must have the opportunity to choose a play theme and change it as often as needed. A submarine, sand dunes, animal burrows in the garden, a make-believe valley — the scenery is dependent only on the imagination of the child.

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The Druzhba team did not consider bright colors as the main goal. The opinion that the playground should be bright and colorful is outdated and does not align with the latest research.

The Dune color scheme represents a harmony of natural colors and several bright accents.

At Dune, various multifunctional objects can be found. Objects with uncertain functions force children to invent new play scenarios.

The playground is rather small: 100 square meters. Nevertheless, it has a single swing, a small carousel, and a sandpit.

Risk is an important part of the game. Children must experience their physical abilities on the playground, otherwise they might find a dangerous place to do it.

The playground has various designated areas. There are common and private places, areas for younger and older children, and for active and quiet play.

On every playground, there must be an opportunity to change the surrounding space. Different types of granular materials, plants, water, chalk surfaces, inner spaces — children can leave their mark everywhere.

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The architects sought to create an unpredictable, irregular space where children could imagine anything. Modern equipment is just part of it.

Photos: Druzhba bureau and Horizon

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