LIKE architects‘ playLAND is a set of three bouncy and colorful spatial interventions set for children in the public space of Paredes de Coura, Portugal, using beach floats as construction module. Created for ‘O Mundo ao Contrário’, which means ‘The World Upside-Down’, a week-long event that transformed the quiet village in the north of Portugal into a playground for hundreds of children, featuring street theatre, concerts, circus, and installations, playLAND is a off-the-shelf installation, built with the help of local volunteers and formalized into three different moments: an informal stage, where different shows for children could be seen; a silo-shaped tower, that kids could enter and play in; and a small tunnel pavilion, for children to cross and run around.
Removed from the usual water context and used in three colors – green, orange and pink – the beach floats serve as the modular construction element, allowing the creation of a light and colorful world, built with recognizable objects belonging from another place.
Being a child object, designed for children to play quietly in the sea or in the pool, the beach float is naturally a colorful and very appealing object. Moreover, by the virtue of being inflatable, it quickly becomes very bulky, but always lightweight and easy to handle, facilitating the creation of the large scale ephemeral constructions.
Structured by vertical and horizontal association of round-shaped beach buoys, the inflatable installations seek to create fun rest areas, sometimes protected from the sun, where people can, for example, attend to concert harp or to a reading of a story.
all images © DINIS SOTTOMAYOR PHOTOGRAPHY