Aldo van Eyck: the playgrounds and the city
Climbing frames, arches, igloos, tumbling bars, jumping stones, and climbing walls all found their way into unsightly wastelands and boring squares thanks to the visionary help of architect Aldo van Eyck, who transformed urban spaces in Amsterdam into more than 700 playgrounds between 1947 and 1978. Beyond the sites' spatial designs, van Eyck also developed a whole series of sandpits, climbing frames, and other equipment in his radical, charming recreation of the city into a space for play. This book considers the importance of the playground in general and more specifically within the international postwar developments in city planning. Van Eyck's sources of inspiration, from Kurt Schwitters to Jacoba Mulder, are surveyed. The playgrounds themselves are examined on the basis of how they were received at the time of construction, through letters from neighborhood residents, memoranda by public officials, and the reactions of contemporary architects. A separate essay traces what happened to the playgrounds after 1978, and how van Eyck's ideas resonate in the design practices and spatial planning policy of today.
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Liane Lefaivre and lngeborg de Roode
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Aldo van Eyck Amsterdam Municipal Amsterdam playgrounds Amsterdam School Amsterdam-Centrum Amsterdam-Noord Amsterdam-West architect architecture artists basketball field Bertelmanplein Bos en Lommer central section fd centre child climbing arch climbing frames climbing objects Cobra colour combined compositional concrete Constant Nieuwenhuys construction Cor van Eesteren culture Department of Public Director PW districts Dutch east fd elements Erik Schmitz exhibition Eyck designed Eyck's playgrounds fotografie George Candilis ground-up Henri Lefebvre idea Jacoba Mulder Johan Karsten Lefaivre/Tzonis 1999 Lefebvre letter Liane Lefaivre lngeborg de Roode memo Mondrian neighbourhoods Netherlands north fd painting paved photo book photographs Piet Piet Mondrian play areas Play garden play objects playgrounds playing pool polycentric postwar Preparation Division public space residents Rotterdam sandpit Slotermeer Slotervaart somersault frames south fd spatial Sports park stad Stedelijk Museum Stokvis straat street Violette Cornelius Vondelpark west fd Willem Zeedijk