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»Reach for the sky« in Dortmund

The central theme of the playground “Hoch hinaus” (“Reach for the sky”) in Dortmund’s Westfalenpark was created through a process of participation between the city youth welfare office and children and youths aged between 8 and 14 years from the urban redevelopment area. The ideas and wishes were the basis for the area planned by SIK-Holz®: Play and move, experience nature, relax and chat, create and design.
The playground is divided into 3 areas. The separation of the active movement area and the more communicative relaxation area is made using a predetermined path.

The climbing park “Hoch hinaus” is, at the same time, the central point. Several climbing towers with platform heights between 2.0 and 6.0 metres are connected by different bridges and nets. At the same time, the children and youths can take different paths. Movement patterns, such as balancing, climbing, hanging and sliding, can be practised. In particular, maintaining balance and building body tension are trained, and dexterity and the build-up of strength are promoted. The movement sequences can be continuously changed. Particular attractions are the “bird’s nest” and the “mesh tunnel”. Here, the change in perspective desired by the children and youth is created: observation, reach your own limits, overcome challenges and “be yourself”. The “entrance filters” prevent smaller children using the climbing park.
Immediately next to the climbing park is the swing area. The hanging height of the swing seat, set at 4.5 m height, allows swinging, flying and soaring, recognised as a particular primal human need. Adults also enjoy the experience.

On the other side of the path, there is the absolute opposite to the climbing park – the area for “chilling and hanging out”. The area is separated into three parts, which stretch over a sculptured site. In addition to climbing and balancing on different bridges and pathways close to the ground, there are also many nets and platforms inviting you to hang around and chat. Many youths first test this area before starting in the climbing park “Hoch hinaus”.

All the play equipment is creatively and optically connected with each other. The stylistic elements of the not quite straight grown, crafted posts can be found in all three areas. Additionally, the discrete colour styling of the play area connects it with the environmental surroundings.

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