#50 - Light my Path

Play Structure: Let Kids Be Kids

Courtesy of Matter Design

The Five Fields development is a neighborhood in Lexington, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, that was designed in the early 50s around 8 acres of common land. It was designed by the Architects Collaborative to create a sense of community and fight against “social loneliness” with a playground, swimming pool and frog pond.

Completed in 2016, the Five Fields Play Structure by Matter Design was built in harmony with these founding principles in the development’s common land. The structure aims to continue to contribute to a spirit of collectivity and is designed to cultivate children’s imagination and allow them to play in the purest sense of the term: without purpose or definition. The structure was designed for children but is also large enough to be used by adults. There are doors and stairs leading nowhere and multiple ways to access each part of it with some requiring smaller children to crawl while older children and adults to can climb. Exploration and creative thinking are the order of the day.

The Five Fields Play Structure won a 2017 AZ Award in the category of Recreational Architecture.

About the Author

Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator from Toronto who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is our in-house copy editor.

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