‘When I was young we used to play a game called “Slam”. It was a little bit like squash but with a football… and no rackets. The architecture of the enclosed yard in which it was contested became a ‘court’ that was unique to its setting and determined the rules. It was our game and no one else’s.’ – Angus Morrogh-Ryan
Our scheme is based on three key ideas:
- If you scrutinise all genuinely good community spaces, you will find that their children have evolved their own context specific games. Central to our proposal is an understanding that, whilst there is insufficient space to create a ‘standard’ playing field, there is here a capacity to accommodate social cohesion and interaction through play. We hope to provide a setting that will create a sense of belonging and protection.
- Since the advent of smartphones, there is increasingly a tendency to travel through public space without looking up. We want to create something that is so visually arresting to counteract this, like coming across a waterfall in a landscape. We want to create the feeling of surprise and delight.
- For it to be a truly engaging public space, it needs to accommodate and adapt to all social circumstances. Like the small tight Italian piazza, it should become a theatre of life, where people of all ages in a community can meet, sit, gossip, read and even fall in love. In this sense, the hardware needs to allow for different scales of social interaction.