5 Fields Play Structure is a landscape architecture project in Lexington, Massachusetts, that aims to bring the community together through play. Developed by Matter Design in collaboration with FR|SCH, the wooden structure is said to challenge the creativity and imagination of both children and adults.
“This play structure is situated on the sloping landscape of a mid-century modern common land, where neighborhood kids enjoy a shared backyard,” the architects said. The brief required a safe and exhilarating platform for the children in the area to spend their time.
The innovative playground is tailored to a child’;s size, but still accessible to adults. It features colorful graphics that suggest entries, without necessarily labeling them. This leads to an interaction based on personal decision-making and discovery.
“Pre-conceived architectural elements like doors and stairs do exist, but lead to nowhere,” the architects said. “Thresholds are tucked under levitating volumes balanced on a single wall. Another principle of the design strategy provides multiple means of access to any location. These decisions produce escalating challenges for the kids; mitigating risk and ensuring the correct age-range has access to the more treacherous areas instead of withholding them entirely. Older kids climb over while younger crawl under.” Photography: Matter Design + FR|SCH