Brian Peterson & Carly Maggio
Building Trust International Competition 2013
FLEXpark is, first and foremost, a destination. A place to spend a lunch break, meet with friends, or get away for a moment. The playscape is a haven from busy city life, allowing for a disconnect and a sanctuary, but also a vantage point to view the ever-changing activity of the city. It embraces its context through a desire to be eye-catching, refreshing, and different: a freestanding structure dividing exposed blocks of parking.
Far from a conventional area for play, FLEXpark provides an escape for both children and adults through a range of multi-functional areas. The terrain of the elevated roofscape is split by a serpentine slide, which doubles as a tubing run in the wintertime. The split, combined with the dynamic slope, helps emphasize the different zones of play. Circular platforms punch through the roof surface, providing areas for swings, sandboxes, and more. Linear cuts on the opposing side create opportunities for seating and interaction, a destination for adults with a clear view to the children’s play areas. The roof shelters a skating rink and lunch tables, dipping down near the street to create an enclosure for restrooms, concessions, and a ticket booth for the bus and tram stop that has become integrated into the program. The range of programmatic elements that promote one another results in a cohesive whole. As a place for its inhabitants to gather, relax, watch, and break from the norm, it acts as a much-needed relief from the endless pattern of structures and parking lots: the playscape as urban oasis.—