Famous architects seem to have a right to design whatever they like, and cities like New York are willing to play pay.
Noted architect Frank Gehry will bring his daring deconstructionist aesthetic to the monkey bar and seesaw set, as city officials announced yesterday that he will design a $4 million playground in Battery Park.
Parks officials said Gehry volunteered his services two months after the opening of his first building in New York City, an office building in Chelsea. Gehry is best known for such projects as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Spain, and plans to design the Atlantic Rail Yards development in Brooklyn.
But the closest the architect has come to designing a play space was when he appeared, in voiceover, as himself in an episode of the children’s animated show “Arthur,” during which he helped Arthur and his friends design a new treehouse.
In a similar vein to the Imagination Playground, a multimillion dollar play space in Manhattan that is set to break ground this summer, I’m sure Frank Gehry will be looking to impress and expand on much of the play philosophy that has been developed over the past couple of years.
While these spaces provide excellent facilitated and free play, we still have to question the basic tot-lot playground in suburban middle and lower class society. Is there any way to spruce these up, providing safe, exciting play spaces for children of varied ages? The majority of people in the world are more concerned about their local neighborhood than what is happening in New York City, millions of dollars are not required for play grounds, just imagine how many small community play spaces could have been improved with $4 million dollars.
Other discussion on this: Gawker.com – We Hate Your Children