Thursday, September 26, 2013

Unleash Your Inner Child

Hello Everyone:

Isamu Noguchi Playscape Atlanta, Georgia
As the days start to get progressively shorter, the amount of out door play time shrinks.  The kids go back to school and homework.  The local playgrounds, populated with laughing children stand empty.  so today, I thought it would be nice to look at a historic playground by the late architect Isamu Noguchi.  The Isamu Noguchi Playscape in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia is an artful, wondrous place to play and have fun even if you're not a kid.  So go ahead, play with the art.

Noguchi swing set
At the Playscape, the swings, jungle gym, slides are re-imagined as bright and colorful sculptural elements.  Similarly,the sculptural elements are rethought as having a communal function, blurring the lines between public art, landscape architecture, and just plain old fun.  According to Robert Witherspoon, of the city of Atlanta's Public Art Program, "The sculptural playground is an learning environment that children can enjoy and explore."  The concept behind the Playscape is simple, rather dictate what and how children should play, it encourages a more organic, unstructured play conducive to creative interactions.  Children can climb up roll around, and swing on the spiral slide tower.  They can play with the cubes and modernist structures integrated into the equipment.

Isamu Noguchi
It challenges children of all ages and art lovers to come up with more creative play.  Can you imagine some blue-haired old lady museum docent sliding down, head first into the sand?  Go granny go. Since, the experience is not programmed, it allows for improvisational play.  The Playscape was created by Japanese-American architect, designer, and sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-88) and completed in 1976.  The playground or, if you prefer the work of art, was commissioned by High Museum of Art then-director Gudmund Vigtel.  The earliest drawing for the sculptural playground date to1933 and originally envisioned as a block of play structures in New York City.  Unfortunately, the Play Mountain concept was rejected and the architect tried again between1960-66 in Riverside Park, New York, working with Louis I. Kahn.  Again, it was rejected.  In 1975 the late Mr. Vigtel brought the late Mr. Noguchi to Atlanta and under, the latter gentle men's commission, the Playscape was realized.  Oh well, New York City's loss is Atlanta's gain. Isamu Noguchi's playground was passed down and enjoyed by the children of the city. Presently, these funky playgrounds exist in
Gudmund Vigtel
cities across the United States, each unique in their own right. While the late Mr. Noguchi has other public sculptures, the Piedmont Park installation was his only playground project built during his lifetime.
Go granny go!  The slide tower

Ismau Noguchi Playscape
In June 2009, the Atlanta Department of Parks and Cultural Affairs unveiled the current restoration of the Playscape.  Robert Witherspoon explained, "The conservation team had to undo previous repairs and maker the ferrous metal components were stabilized, aesthetically true to the original design, and structurally sound...We worked with engineers and the Noguchi Foundation to maker sure the conservation work was true to the original intent of Noguchi's vision."  The Playscape is definitely a unique and a cultural asset to the city according to Mr. Witherspoon.  "It's culturally engaging and the high design hybrid is coming back in vogue for play environments."  So, if you should happen to be in Atlanta, Georgia, or live there, and want want to let your inner child out, Piedmont Park is the place for you.  The park is open daily from 6a.m. to 11p.m.  For more on Isamu Noguchi you can visit the Isamu Noguchi Museum in Long Island, New York ( or the Isamu Noguchi Garden Japan in Kagawa, Shikoku (  GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY.

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter or on Pinterest
Google +     

No comments:

Post a Comment