Architect WTF



  • I think it's interesting to see that actually, just as in programming, there are WTFs all around. Makes me question all professionals, really. Does the carpenter know what he's doing? The mechanic? The bueracrat? Anyway...

    My local school got rebuilt last year, a major overhaul. Except that the architect must have been on drugs or something. I mean, who does things like that?

    This is a school for kids age 6 and up. The photos are from the playground. You see those huge concrete steps? I was just totally awestruck. How is it at all possible to even suggest making such a setup? How many injuries per year? Those steps are probably 1/3 the height of the students. On the second picture is the main "apparatus" the children are supposed to play with. I've seen many similar "fancy" designs, but they are usually also very useful to play with. This thing... I guess you could trip over those metal bars for fun. +15% on the injuries already caused by the steps?

    I don't know what's the worst WTF here.. that the architect drew it or that the schoolboard accepted it. I'm terrified, really. It's just horrible.



  • It may have been entirely intentional. Perhaps your school district hired a BAFH.



  • "...The bueracrat? Anyway..."

     

    Of course not. Which bureaucrat ever knew what he's doing?



  • @Shinhan said:

    "...The bueracrat? Anyway..."

     

    Of course not. Which bureaucrat ever knew what he's doing?

    Hehe, exactly.. But I don't think they are worse than others. We love to blame the politicians for everything, but I'm sure there are just as many WTFs everywhere else, they're just easier to hide.



  •  TRWTF is todays safety standards considered adequate...!

     In that age we climbed on trees a multitude of our size, we would have loved the steps, but honestly we would have (did, actually, our setup at school was practicaly the same as on the pics) preferred to jump of the rocks you see in the back.

    yes, some may got hurt a little, but not too often. au contraire, we learned to pay attention. we even had some big stones (20" to 30" high) placed in the middle of our playground. our most favourite game was to try to get on the top of it, while the rest of us tried to push / throw you of that stone to become the 'mayor of that island'.

    good times

    no wonder today's kids don't learn responsability for themselves, can't cope with dangers later on. sad! life isn't a super-cosy place where everybody else is responsible for your actions.

    I go climbing and biking with kids. yes, it's dangerous. contrary to the playground above even live threatening. they learn about safety measures, their own responsability to check not only their, but also their buddy's equipment and to estimate your own boundaries. they learn for life. as we did.

     we had the same steps, and we loved them. besides they're great for taking class photos 😉



  • Before this turns out into a discussion about overprotecting children..

    I'm not saying you should keep everything super-safe. But you shouldn't make things hazardous either. If you fall down one of those steps, you'll probably fall all the way down, on solid concrete. And yes, I would've loved the steps too if I was a kid, and I would climb them all the time. But it's really just an accident waiting to happen, as well as being totally pointless. The "playing apparatus" suck in all dimensions (not safe and no fun either), so the only thing the kids can do besides practicing pole dancing on those weird things sticking up from the ground is to climb the stairs.



  • On what planet is children's play equipment designed by architects? The Real WTF is the post title.



  • I really am a kid at heart (I just can not walk past unoccupied swings without swinging), and I personally love most of the equipment of that type of playground - my favourite is like the poles pictured, but it's on an angle. It's quite a challenge to control your rotation and weight distribution on it, to stay on top of the pole.

    I once saw an otherwise boring town square in Germany that had a couple of the poles spaced around it. I would've spent a few minutes spinning if they didn't have kids already playing.

    The things in the second picture still slightly baffle me - I've seen them and tried them out a few times. The black bits are basically skateboards on runners.  I guess the idea is to stand on it, hold on to the bar in front and run the board sideways along the u-shaped bar. I'm not quite where the fun is in that, but I'm sure it's there somewhere.  As for injuries... these are the least cotton-wool-wrapped playgrounds I know, either by design or accident - most of them move and provide ample opportunities for hurting yourself if you're not careful.

    I like them because they're not obvious - you have to spend a moment to think how they're intended to be used, and how else it's possible to use them.  On the other hand the more interesting pieces are often not being used when I see them, but I usually end up with an audience of a curious kid or 2, who jump on and copy what I was doing as soon as I leave.  Not sure if that says something about the kids or the equipment??  (or the novelty of an - admittedly small - adult on a playground)

    And the steps? They're steps. They get you from one level to another. My primary school (ages 5-10), was built on a slope, and has an upper and lower section. The sections are connected on 2 sides of a building by long and fairly steep concrete ramps, both with a couple of concrete steps in the middle.  I know of at least a couple of kids who sustained injuries (broken bones even, shock horror!) skating or skateboarding down them. Nothing was ever said about ramps being "dangerous", just that the kids were stupid.  Hmm, and the other set of concrete steps, that were similar to the ones in the picture? In my 12 or so years being associated with the school (through siblings and friends' siblings) I don't know of a single person falling down them. Doesn't mean no-one ever will, sure, but they're not inherently 'dangerous' and they get the job done.

    Damn, how do I add linebreaks?  Sorry for the wall-of-text!

     

    mod: restored linebreaks. This editor has poor ( = none) support for Chrome. -dh



  • @bertram said:

    On what planet is children's play equipment designed by architects? The Real WTF is the post title.

    The plaything was just an added bonus. I mainly reacted at the stairs (as well as there being no room for kicking a ball around either, for that matter). And to put the record straight: I don't have anything against weird stuff you can play with. It's just that this was the only things you could play with.



  •  Stairs make perfect sense - they're easier to maintain than benches, but can be used the same way. Older kids love sitting around doing social things, and this configuration would make the most seating area available per unit space.



  • @IronFist said:

    our most favourite game was to try to get on the top of it, while the rest of us tried to push / throw you of that stone to become the 'mayor of that island'.
    You, sir, favored democracy from a very young age.  We called that game "King of the Mountain."



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @IronFist said:

    our most favourite game was to try to get on the top of it, while the rest of us tried to push / throw you of that stone to become the 'mayor of that island'.
    You, sir, favored democracy from a very young age.  We called that game "King of the Mountain."

    Unless I got pushed off, then it was "Stinky Jerk Of The Butt-Face"



  • Unrelated to the discussion, can anyone tellme what you are actually supposed to do with the thing in the second picture?

    First I thought it was some kind of hight-tech looking swing, but it seems to be fixed on three points. So basically, the children are supposed to step up to the middle platform, grab the yellow handles and ... ? Profit?



  •  The platforms look like they can slide back and forth, and you can stand on them and fall off real hard.



  • @dhromed said:

     The platforms look like they can slide back and forth, and you can stand on them and fall off real hard.

     

    Ooh, that would actually be pretty awesome.

    ... except ... not, since there is really nothing to hold on to while sliding. the handles in the middle are useless and there is nothing else. So yes, I din't agree with the stairs but this thing is really built for falling off.



  • @PSWorx said:

    Unrelated to the discussion, can anyone tellme what you are actually supposed to do with the thing in the second picture?
    I think you grab the middle handles that are sticking up and attached to the ground.  Put your feet on the little skateboard thing and it slides along the arc and you push it with your legs.  You face another person doing this at the same time.  Make a game out of it.  Like, first one to puke loses.  Make it more interesting by yelling things about your mother.

    I'm not saying it looks fun for more than 15 seconds, but that's the best I can do.  I can try stick figures if you're still confused.



  • I think the idea is to stand on the little platform, then push off from the bar so it's like a mini-skateboarding ramp where the skateboard is on a rail so it can't fall off. Presumably this is intended to be safer than an actual skateboard ramp - I guess because although you can still fall off the board, you can't do tricks with it.



  •  So it's a total unitasker.  Meh.

    I can't resist mentioning my favorite (in memory) playground "equipment" when I was a kid.  They had the usual fun stuff like slides and swings and sand.  But for some reason, over one summer they decided to add something new.  And novel.  They dumped a couple of truckloads of dirt in the middle of one of the sandy areas, to make a mound of dirt about 8 feet high.  Then dumped a truckload of concrete over the top of it and called it a finished project.  Seriously, they didn't even smooth out the concrete, but left it with the rough, jagged surface of freshly poured mix.  Oh, and for the cherry on top, they mounted a fake cannon on top.   Since it had fairly steep sides and due to the roughness of the concrete, it was pretty hard to climb without scraping the skin off your hands. Didn't stop us, though.  I never saw anybody fall off, but I was sure, even at that age, it wouldn't have been pretty.



  • @PSWorx said:

    Unrelated to the discussion, can anyone tellme what you are actually supposed to do with the thing in the second picture?

    First I thought it was some kind of hight-tech looking swing, but it seems to be fixed on three points. So basically, the children are supposed to step up to the middle platform, grab the yellow handles and ... ? Profit?

    The scale of the photo is misleading. It's actually a world-spin accelerator. You stand with one foot on either board, facing against the spin, and as you bring your feet together, the boards are forced along the (converging) rails and the rotational energy of the earth increases. The buildings in the background are contingencies against sudden shrinkage of that town's populace to quarter-scale. Please note this also neatly explains the 'oversize' steps. I think the OP should consider whether he/she has shrunk to quarter-size already, without noticing.


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