Beuningenplein Playground

Parked cars dominate the public space both physically and functionally. Therefore the city of Amsterdam has decided to construct an underground parking garage at ‘van Beuningenplein’ at the existing playground. On top of the new parking garage, the former play and sport area, had to return. In the former situation the ‘van Beuningenplein’ was hidden from view by cars, fencing and poorly maintained green. By eradicating the cars and other obstructions the façades of the surrounding houses are connected to the square and the square becomes once again part of the neighbourhood.

Along the façades hedges are placed in strategic locations leaving space for resident initiatives, like a bench or a façade garden. The boundary between private and public has become less rigid, a colourful and lively plinth is the result. Green borders of perennials frame the central part of the square without isolating it from its surroundings.

The central part is designated for sports and play. On the sport field there is also space for a water feature and in wintertime ice-skating is possible. By placing special elements on the edge of the sunken sport field a skatable edge has been created. The playing area is a large wavy surface with different playing towers, play elements for all ages and a water playground for summertime.

The sports and play features are extended with a youthcenter combined with an exit and entrance of the car park, a small building for a playground manager, and a public tea-house. Mixing all these functions allows different groups of people and different ages to come together. The whole square plays an important role in the social cohesion of the neighbourhood, hence becoming much more than just a playground.

Landscape Architecture: Carve
in collaboration with Dijk&Co and Concrete A.A.
Location: van Beuningenplein, Amsterdam
Client: municipality of Amsterdam
Design: 2007
Realisation: 2011

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