#animals #playgrounds

A Menagerie of Playground Creatures by MONSTRUM Turn Animals into Outdoor Gyms

February 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Seals. All images © MONSTRUM, shared with permission

Copenhagen-based MONSTRUM (previously) continues to transform playgrounds into imaginative habitats for land and sea creatures. Sometimes towering dozens of feet in the air, the architectural animals rest on stone and painted ground coverings, their bellies and limbs left hollow to fit climbing ropes, tunnels, and slides that scale the length of a tentacle or fin.

Helmed by designers Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, MONSTRUM has grown to a team of more than 60 designers, engineers, and craftspeople in recent years, allowing the studio to expand the size of its projects, as well. Works like “The Land of River Giants” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, contain multiple creatures, including two monumental herons and a long-nosed paddlefish surrounded by reeds nearby. The piece is just one example of MONSTRUM’s increased focus on accessibility for all ages and abilities, with the fish’s mouth serving as a low, gaping entrance designed for smaller children and a 12-foot high slide descending from the birds for older kids. Additional elements like climbing areas and rushes primed for hide-and-seek surround the massive animals.

MONSTRUM currently has three playgrounds on view at Expo 2020 Dubai and a number of projects in-progress for the coming year. “A snapshot from our workshop at the moment would show that we’ve got everything from helicopters to giant birds and otters under construction,” Nielsen shares. Explore a map of the playgrounds and additional designs on the studio’s site.



The Land of River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pipefish, New York

Octopus, EXPO, Dubai

River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The 5 Halds, Viborg, Denmark

Whale, EXPO, Dubai

Peacock, K11 Musea, Hong Kong

#animals #playgrounds


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