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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shapes and Ladders

A comment by Ken Lee on a "Today's archidose" post with his photos of Toyo Ito's Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum in Imabari City, Ehime, Japan tipped readers off to a nearby museum by the same architect. The Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture (no joke) consists of a Steel Hut and a Silver Hut; the former is made up of steel panels of geometric shapes perched on a concrete base:

今治市伊東豊雄建築ミュージアム, TIMA, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari, Japan

Seeing the above, I immediately thought of something I'd seen for the first time and photographed just a week earlier:

St. George's Play Yard

St. George's Play Yard is adjacent to St. George's Episcopal Church on East 16th Street, only a half block from Stuyvesant Square in the Gramercy Park area. It is also next door to the Jack and Jill School and the Friends Seminary School. The play yard is striking for being the antithesis of contemporary safety-first playgrounds: it is steel instead of plastic, angular instead of soft, muted instead of colorful, and so forth.

今治市伊東豊雄建築ミュージアム, TIMA, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari, Japan

Formally the play yard and TIMO are quite similar, given that they each have stacked shapes (triangles, squares, parallelograms, octagons), are finished in brown, and have ladders for climbing/access. This last aspect is what I find most interesting, since the inclusion of ladders (and railings) on TIMO points to the roof being accessible for visitors. Ito's design is definitely playful, and while I'd wager he wasn't influenced by St. George's Play Yard he's basically created a building-size playground.

St. George's Play Yard

6 comments:

  1. laders are very good.
    i also like the designing.
    that is very unique building.

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  2. its great seeing a playground that doesn't stick to the rules. Most are just copies of eachother with Kite marks to keep up with health and saftey

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  3. BTW, if anybody knows how old this play yard is, please leave a comment or email me.

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  4. amazed by the seamless surface (museum).

    Like the playground.Childern love to have different experiences.

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  5. Really, like this! Very fun, and reather refreshing. I think the simple material pallet really accentuates the form.
    Good comparison though John, I definitely see where you are coming from with this.

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