Playground Building Betondorp - Onderlangs
As winner of a select competion by the municipality of Amsterdam, Urban Echoes designed a new playground building as part of an entire renewal of the Onderlangs “playstrip” in Betondorp, De Watergraafsmeer.
The Onderlangs is a green buffer between Betondorp and the A10 highway. Originally there were two different playground buildings for visitors and residents of Onderlangs, though both have since been demolished. These buildings and the original playground were replaced by a Johan Cruyff Court – where a cluster of sports facilities, and a new playground for children was introduced.
Urban Echoes’ playground building is situated in the transition area between these sports fields and playground. It is used by the Jeu de Boule Club, a daycare organization and several residents' groups. The design of the building has the feeling of a paper house, as it would look when folded by a child. With a reference to the area’s past, the building was finished with a seamless polyurea. This uniform materialization enhances the design and shape of the house and refers to the concrete stucco facades characteristic of Betondorp.
The building stands under large trees on the North side of the grounds and opens up towards the South and West. The view from the building expands from the playgrounds to the sports fields, all the way along the playstrip.
A steel plating is featured throughout the building. These steel plates were given a special treatment resulting in a beautifully dynamic iridescent glow with pink, yellow and blue tones that shift as users move from one side to the next. The North side of the building features a perforated plate. In the day, this perforated plate of the building allows occupants inside of the structure to see the street, maintaining a connection to the outside. At night, when the building is occupied and the lights are on inside, this perforated plate colorfully illuminates its dark surroundings – increasing the safety in the area with a stunning light.
Importantly, this design is a reference to the area’s concrete past, with a contemporary and functional design for the optimistic and playful future of Betondorp.