A Red Thread: The Park’n’Play Experience in Copenhagen
In consideration of the look of the surrounding buildings, the new structure is rust-red, which contrasts with the rough appearance of the parkade yet does not overshadow it. The façade is oriented towards the constructive elements of the existing building and seems to follow these with a certain respect. In fact, the two have entered into an unusual symbiosis. Here and there, the red shell is closed off; in other places it unabashedly reveals views into the parkade. Something suggestive of delicate perforated sheeting at one moment becomes a massive barrier in the next. Moreover, the façade is structured by large planter boxes set at regular intervals. These are stacked and offer soil for greenery. The plants grow towards the sky at various thicknesses and arrangements, lending a vivacious character to the views within the urban environment.
Two opposed outdoor stairways run along the longitudinal sides of the building. Their design evokes associations of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. While one of the staircases leads directly upwards, the other continues around a corner and creates a connection to the street. Both climb all the way to the roof level and are often interrupted by landings. Their back sides are decorated with a graphic drawing, a frieze expressly prepared by RAMA Studio. It illustrates the district’s history; its pictures combine both the past and future, taking visitors on a short jaunt through time.
On the stairs, visitors first encounter the red thread, which plays a subtle allegorical role throughout the project. As a handrail, it winds up from the street to the roof, where the crowning namesake of Park’n’Play is located: the large adventure playground. Here, the safety barrier of red steel piping forms a diversity of elements. It creates a dynamic landscape of areas for adventure and rest, surrounds trampolines and workout areas and becomes a jungle gym and swingset. Like a sort of sculptural guiding path, the red thread structures the playground from beginning to end before descending the second stairway on the other side of the roof. It seems to take visitors on a small journey and motivate them to take a short break in the middle of all the urban coming and going.