Play in Herzberg Harbour
The word “harbour” is often used colloquially to give a sense of protection and safety, or for the fulfilment of a hope or longing. So the “Harbour” became the overriding theme for the new design of the playground in the Königin Elisabeth Herzberge Protestant Hospital in Berlin. The “Harbour” as a refuge for health problems and a hope of recovery.
The hospital is located right in the middle of the Lichtenberg area of Berlin in a large protected area of parkland. Holistic treatment of patients is at the heart of everything here. In particular, the inside area aims to offer people a high quality of stay and contribute to a speedy recovery. An integrative, accessible play room was set up in Spring 2015 for the treatment of children and young people. It helps encourage free play, and also improves the motor skills and sensory abilities of the children. The playground aims to cover the whole range of demands and provide play options for all ages. It should be accepted as a “normal” playground. For an integrative play area can only arise when all age groups have the chance to meet.
The new playground offers both patients of child epileptology and their family members and other visitors an attractive area to move around and play in.
A multi-functional play unit was designed for the roughly 200 m² sized play area. A wheelchair accessible pier with accessible sand table and areas made from different materials with some moving elements leads to the harbour’s storage lodge. These provide space for role play and sensory play. A play house also acts a lockable equipment store for the mobile toys. The sand can be transported from the pier unit to a small sand boat with other sand play elements using a sand transport unit. As well as this small boat, a large ship also stops at the harbour. You can also explore the ship via various gangways for getting on and off. The stern is also wheelchair accessible. Here you can observe the world outside the harbour using a periscope.
In the space around the sand play area, two swings, a balancing course, two trampolines and a table tennis area complete the range of play options on offer. One swing is fitted with a large nest bowl for safe seating and lying. Two large semi-circular seating groups offer plenty of space for board games and open air meals. The tables are can be accessed by wheelchair from the path.
The entire site was planned by Büro LandschaftsArchitektur Wiebold (Wiebold Landscape Architecture) in Osnabrück. SIK-Holz developed and built the play equipment based on a functional tender. We would like to thank Wiebold Architects and the Königin Elisabeth Herzberge Protestant Hospital most sincerely for working with us.