A Day at the Beach
Everyone—including children in wheelchairs or with physical, cognitive, vision or hearing disabilities—can enjoy a day at this new beachfront playground. AHBE | MIG, in collaboration with Patrick Tighe Architecture, brought universal accessibility and sustainability to the North Beach Playground, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. Children of all abilities can play here, increasing mobility and stimulating imagination and all the senses.
The design features separate areas for those ages 2–5 and 5–8, with shade structures, barrier-free swings, slides and climbing equipment, along with sensory elements like floating rocks, sensory garden, sound columns and a stone abacus that everyone can touch, feel and hear. All structures will allow for increased maneuvering space, with accessible surfaces and paths.
A berm on the ocean side of the playground mitigates the amount of sand coming onto the playground and the carefully selected a sustainable plant palette of coastal bluff trees and grasses is in keeping with the site’s natural context and gained approval from the California Coastal Commission.
AHBE | MIG provided full landscape design services from schematic design through construction administration for the hardscape, planting and irrigation for the half-acre site.
The playground received the 2019 Westside Urban Forum Design Award for Public/Open Space.