Cloud Forests Pavilion for Children’s Play / UNITEDLAB Associates
Text description provided by the architects. Built in a museum that was abandoned during construction, the pavilion was designed at the request of the developer who purchased it for the benefit of the community. Due to the circumstances, the project’s total budget was extremely low, $4000 only for design, installation, and maintenance for 6 months and the architect decided on aluminum rods and balloons to create a stimulating environment for children, which turned to become a national scale attraction to the small town.
As a Pavilion for Children’s Play, we would like to awaken the children’s senses and create new play spaces for them to play together. We aim to provide an installation work that children can play with their bodies in the outdoor exhibition spaces provided by the client.
We designed a playing art with fresh vibrant colors; Pink and White. The Cloud Forests is an installation that caters to people of different generations, so all ages can appreciate its design; Adults living around enjoy it as an art object and children play with it. This site area is located in the outdoor exhibition space surrounded by concrete walls with openings. The installation is mainly composed of three materials: pink flexible height bars, white balloons, and aluminum wires. First, the pink flexible bars are planted into the ground varying in levels of density.
The super-dense areas allow only small children to fit through and play in. Whereas, the less dense areas are wide enough for parents to walk through and supervise their children. Next, the specially designed white balloons are placed on top of the pink flexible bars. These balloons are not directly connected to the bars, but each one moves independently. Between the balloon and the bar, there is a layer of wire so that the balloons do not fall onto the floor, but the movement of children and the touching of the bar will be transmitted to the balloon, causing it to move.
We were selected as the winner of this commission project, so we needed to design, install, and periodically maintain its status for six months. How can we create a structure that embraces both space and generation? Parents can walk around while children can run. Thanks to the pole’s varying density, the installation provides children with a circulation path for a run, walk, or stand. There are spaces for play as well as social gatherings even in a small place.
We communicated often with the museum staff how we could manage this installation effectively and successfully. The museum building was being stopped to build an abandoned before from a developer during construction. The client bought it and changed it into a local museum. Thus, they wanted the museum and their events to actively engage the neighborhood around them. We installed a medium between an art and a facility with a very low budget. We needed to maintain the installation condition for six months regardless of seasonal weather changes and museum closure days.
This play facility aims to portray a metaphorical aspect and functions as an interactive installation that appeals to children and adds another dimension of art to the collections in the museum.