When chess goes wild – a totally crazy playground
12. March 2021
The world is a little crazy in the courtyard of the “Pitypang” kindergarten in Budapest: There is a large chess area, but at its centre sits a play tower. There is a football field, but it is round. It’s a fantastic place. It came to life with lots of ideas and plenty of technical expertise – and the appropriate surfaces from CONICA.
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the “Pitypang” kindergarten (“dandelion” in English) chose to install an unusual playground in its courtyard. Anything but a traditional design was permitted. This explains the previously mentioned elements, such as the chessboard and the round football field. The dandelion motif appears in various places as well. From certain angles, the spectacular design is reminiscent of modern classics such as those created by Miro or Schlemmer. Nevertheless, the children’s enjoyment was of course top priority, along with functionality and safety. The installer, Színrelép Kft., and the planner, architect Torba Csaba, had a lot of experience in this field. The employees were also consulted, because the facility also looks after children with special educational needs, such as children with autism. With intensive consultations between all parties involved and the client’s willingness to use high-quality materials, it was possible to submit a plan, obtain official approvals and draw up implementation plans in a relatively short period of just two months. CONICA materials formed the basis – literally – of this ambitious project.
Play and sports surfaces for youngsters
CONICA surfaces are known worldwide for their use in top-level sport. However, consideration is also given to promoting young talent. A combination of appropriate surfaces was used in the project, including the proven CONIPUR 2S. The 10 mm thick, PUR-bonded EPDM surface stands for high quality and durability. Thanks to the recycled granulates in the lower (elastic) layer, it offers a very good price/performance ratio. This is particularly noticeable when thicker layers of covering are required. Seamless and even, CONIPUR 2S is suitable for almost every sport. After it rains, it is quick to dry and can therefore be played on. The 24 different colours allow a wide variety of combinations, whether single or multi-coloured.
CONIPUR PG, a fall protection floor covering for outdoor playgrounds, was developed especially for the very youngest of the junior athletes. It is designed to absorb a high level of energy (from a fall) and thus protect small children in particular from injury. CONIPUR PG is water-permeable, easy to clean, weather-resistant and durable. Its surface can be designed with coloured EPDM granulates. These granulates are UV-stable, leaving the surface attractive and functional even after years of use. When it comes to colours and possible combinations, the sky is the limit. Even colour gradients envisaged by playground designers are possible.
In addition, various play hills, sloping surfaces and climbing routes of varying levels of difficulty required special priming and installation techniques in the kindergarten. For example, the surfacing around the play tower is designed for a particularly high HIC (head injury criterion) value. This means that even if someone falls from a height, there will be no serious consequences. To ensure an even surface for the chessboard, the fall zone substructure was built lower down. As a result, the surface in this area is thicker than at the edges. Water play areas were also treated with the non-slip top coat, Cp 2210. In this way, a total of 1000 m2 of surface were transformed into a flexible, safe and robust playing field.
Installing the project while undergoing business as usual
The company carrying out the work had to face several challenges. First of all, the coronavirus pandemic obviously made the work much more difficult. The kindergarten also remained open during construction, so the installation had to be carried out section by section. Thanks to the short installation times, defined product characteristics and consistently high quality of the CONICA systems, every problem was overcome, meaning that the Pitypang children are now able to enjoy a unique playground.
Check out the Case Study about a special project. Download PDF