Show Menu

RIBA Brutalist Playground


Mondays are my day off work with the children. Sunday night is generally spent trying to think of something new and exciting to do that isn’t along the standard lines of; shaking maracas, staring at a neon soft play centre that gives me a headache, or battling with push chairs around the standard toddler friendly museums.

Don’t get me wrong, I love doing all the above, but I was hoping that someone one day would open a well designed/ relaxing soft play area for younger children that would be non-offensive to the eyes as well as fun for adults.

Well it has arrived.. if only temporarily… in the form of The Brutalist Playground at the RIBA

The high density foam soft play area is based on a number of playground designs from the post war housing  era.  There were generally concrete in material, and despite the good intentions, not terribly successful.  Concrete and children do not really mix, other than of the grazes and skin removing relationship. The images of the original playgrounds look beautiful.  It seems that they just were not kid friendly, a slight stumbling block!  I wonder if the designers were those that constantly lug their children from play park to play park on a daily basis, probably not.

So what a wonderful thing to bring them back to life, but within a safer environment. Safer that is, until the focus piece, ‘The Flying Saucer,’ is closed down for a Health and Safety Assessment. It seems that the tilted nature of the saucer and the metal balustrade to catch those tumbling tots and children ticks the wrong boxes on the assessment forms.

Please go and visit and lets make an effort to ensure that we can start to create more beautiful exciting play spaces for adults and children in London.