An exploration of “post-war design for play,” The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill has opened to the public at RIBA‘s Architecture Gallery. The immersive installation draws on a number of historic London estates – Churchill Gardens, Pimlico; the Brunel Estate, Paddington and the Brownfield Estate in Poplar – where playgrounds were once made from concrete and cast into sculptural forms to offer children an abstract landscape for play. Now deemed unsafe, these playgrounds no longer exist. Thus, The Brutalist Playground was envisaged to explore play, “the Brutalist way.”
Images of the complete installation, after the break.
“The original playgrounds evoke a disappearing world of concrete mazes and windswept walkways. Like a Brechtian stage set rendered in concrete, they speak to a time before soft play and highly regulated public space. The recreation of these forms is a kind of inverted hyper-Brutalism. Playable structures reveling in the sharp edged bush hammered concrete forms they reference. The surreal edges of the Brutalist aesthetic are seen here in the form of the playground,” described Terrill.