[TESTIMONIAL] HELENE BAILLY-MAITRE AND PASCAL AUTRIC, FROM THE URBAN LANDSCAPES DEPARTMENT OF AVIGNON CITY HALL (84)
“THIS PLAYGROUND CONTRIBUTES TO THE REVITALISATION OF THE DISTRICT AND THE TOWN”.
SMC2 has completed its range of equipment: for the first time, it has built a playground for the city of Avignon. Inaugurated on 22 December last, it measures 91 m2 and has elements with a height of up to 8.70 m. Hélène Bailly-Maître and Pascal Autric, from the city’s urban landscape department, talk about this project.
How did the project come about?
Within the city, we already have about a hundred playgrounds in numerous parks and schools. As part of the transformation of a former sports park, we built new sports and leisure facilities: city stadium, pumptracks, fitness trail, athletics track, football and rugby pitches, etc. and it was decided to complete this site with a play area of the size of the project.
Why did you choose SMC2’s structure?
In the central square of the district, the site selected is located on a limited surface area. We wanted a play structure with a high height, but of course it had to be very safe for the users. In addition to these two criteria, it was important that this equipment also fit in with the other elements (street furniture, water games, etc.) so that it would fit in perfectly with the overall development of the neighbourhood.
We therefore chose the company SMC2, which designed the design, manufactured the various elements and was responsible for assembling them. The fact that it is a modular structure was very much appreciated: we were able to choose the general theme (clouds), adapt the games according to age groups and determine each element present in the different clouds.
Can you present the structure?
It is a 13 x 7 m playground, 8.70 m high, with stainless steel modules and nets. It is a multigenerational structure with different modules where it is possible to see through (facilitating the “inside-out” spirit) for all ages. Thus, it includes sensory games, play spheres and a swing for children aged 0 to 4; high games such as rope ladders and harnesses for 5 to 7 year olds; climbing games that are more complicated to access and the highest for 7 to 12 year olds.
The surface is a flexible EPDM shock-absorbing floor of variable height.
In addition, as the sports ground is open to the public, an information board has been installed at the entrance to the playground to give the traditional safety instructions.
After a few months of opening, what are your feelings about this facility?
The objective was that the construction of this space with various sports and play structures would revitalise the neighbourhood and the town in general. And the first few months, before the lock-up period, have shown that it was a real success because the attendance was very high. This is particularly true of the playground, which can be seen from afar and attracts all age groups.