Hong Kong Play Area Wins Global Design Award
Climb a giant lantern? Ring a bell at the top of a pile of buns? Slide a serpent down two floors? All of the above!
During a week-long design workshop at the Hong Kong International School, it became clear that the students needed more diverse and sensory-rich play settings that encouraged them to play collaboratively rather than competitively. The upper two stories of the building, over 8,000 square feet, would be a complement to the ground floor outdoor play areas.
Rebecca Colbert (MIG-Denver) and Todd Hara designed the play space and the mind-blowing structures, which were fabricated by Hong Kong-based Play Concept, Limited.
The centerpiece of the light-filled indoor play area is a giant, two-story net climber designed as a Chinese paper lantern. Its ropes, nets and hammocks provide a climbing challenge, and it connects two floors with a suspension bridge. From up there, kids can slide down the serpent and then explore a “grove” of fabricated bamboo climbing poles. Or climb a “bamboo scaffold” back up to the next floor. A relaxing den includes whimsical furnishings shaped like dim sum and a “noodle bowl” lounge for socializing. There’s a climbing tower studded with imitation buns, inspired by the towers of the traditional Chinese bun scrambling competitions, while the “pachinko wall” hones ball skills. The area then opens up to a sky terrace with interactive play gardens, an exploration station and sweeping views of Hong Kong’s Repulse Bay.
The Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL) honors the best projects from around the world for creativity, innovation, social impact and sustainability—projects that “show useful function and provide a better living experience for its users.”