The Pyramids playground by AFA Group is located in a Butovo, a micro district of Moscow, on the edge between its old and new parts. Built in the 2000s, the old section has typical characteristics of that time: car parking along the building blocks and almost no trees. By contrast, the new part’s car-free courtyards are full of greenery.
Courtesy AFA Group
Behind the playground itself, there a public space for meeting and communication among the residents was established. Together with developer PIK Group, the architects designed a play hub to redistribute activities between the courtyards and public spaces of the district. The courtyards became more private and calm, while the play hub is not only the meeting point for the whole district but also a destination, attracting visitors from places further away.
The bow-shaped general scheme is based on the idea of free, infinite play. It consists of several smoothly interconnected landscape elements, ramp, canopy, stream, and pond, each meeting the basic needs of different age groups. The ramp divides the playground into two zones: the active space for older children and the space for toddlers’ quiet play and experiments. At the same time, tunnels, stairs, and bridges create links, allowing for various scenarios to develop in addition to the main route. The spacious canopy completes the ramp. From its viewpoint, parents can watch children playing without interfering. Under the canopy, there is a cafe with a good overview of the toddlers’ play area.
A staircase from the amphitheater leads to the stream. Pumps, locks, canals, and the watermill provide numerous opportunities to play with water. The different reliefs in the waterbed create natural topography. The water flow is accessible from any point of the playground, making it part of the playscape on different levels. A thirteen-meter-high pyramid tower is the landmark and symbol of the site as it can be seen from a distance.
Working on the project, the architects aimed to create a consistent environment, paying attention to details and the overall scale. The landscape is made from natural materials and has reliefs that add to the value of the play areas. The color scheme of the nearby residential blocks determined the use of color.
DATE: 2016-2017 / LOCATION: Buninskie Luga, Moscow, Russia / AREA: 6.000 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Playground / STATUS: built / DESIGN: AFA / CONSTRUCTION: Richter Spielgeräte, Kompan / PHOTOS: courtesy AFA Group