The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings
The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings
The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings
The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terill at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London. Photography by Tristan Fewings

Child’s play

16 : 06 : 2015 Assemble : Simon Terrill : The Brutalist Playground

London – Artist Simon Terrill and art collective Assemble have revived the Brutalist playgrounds of post-war Britain for a new exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects. 

  • Re-imagines iconic structures that have since been destroyed or deemed unsafe for children
  • The exhibition will run from June until August and will be accompanied by a series of talks and events

Filling an entire gallery inside the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Brutalist Playground features iconic examples of now forgotten design. Terrill himself lives near a former Brutalist playground and was inspired to recreate the controversial structures based on photographs unearthed from the RIBA archives.

Examples such as the Churchill Gardens estate’s lookout platform and balustrade have been given a contemporary makeover, swapping concrete for foam and a lick of pastel paint, intended as a comment on our health and safety-obsessed culture.

‘What attracted us to these Brutalist designs was how unusual they look compared with today’s playgrounds,’ Assemble’s Joe Halligan tells LS:N Global. ‘We have found it interesting to see how people play and interact with these structures compared to, say, a set of swings or a slide.’

The Big Picture: For more awe-inspiring examples of child’s play, read our article on Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s The Idol, a soft play area in Barking that evokes our neolithic past. Check out part two of our Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile review for more on how Imagination Scapes are combining low-value materials with a contemporary vibrant aesthetic.

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