The future of play: Next-gen Czech-design playgrounds debut in Prague

A new 3D-printed parkour playground will open in Prague while two additional innovative Czech-designed play areas have made their debut. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.08.2021 13:14:00 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

There may be nothing better for children than playing the traditional way outdoors, but In the wake of the Covid pandemic, and with kids connecting and playing through digital technology more than ever before, playgrounds can seem a little old-school. Yet with the technologies of the 21st century coming to playgrounds in Prague, outdoor fun in the Czech Republic could be in for a revolution. 

A new parkour playground in Prague’s Kupecký Leisure Complex is set to open in September. Made by Stavební spořitelna Česká spořitelna Buřinka, the concrete shapes installed for parkour are being made using 3D printing technologies by a team of experts in Brno. The society responsible for the new 3D playground also made the Czech Republic’s first printed house, Prvok, on Prague’s Střelecký Ostrov.

“There are many playgrounds for pre-school kids, but older children don’t have many options, so we decided to use 3D printing technology to make a parkour playground. At the same time, we want to confirm the benefits of using recycled concrete. It is another milestone in the use of this remarkable technology,” said Libor Vošický, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stavební spořitelna Česká spořitelna.

Parkour is a sport in which complex urban terrains have to be navigated in the fastest way without any assisting equipment. The Prague parkour playground features 14 unique structures for kids to practise their skills, all printed on a frame printer in cooperation with the company 3Deposition. The printer applies 50-millimeter layers of a special concrete mix at a speed of 155 millimeters per second, and can create objects with a width of up to three meters.

“The mixture must be easy to pump, but at the same time it must not run off and must solidify quickly. We managed to achieve this thanks to the use of additives such as stabilizers, setting accelerators and plasticizers,” says David Škaroupka, founder of 3Deposition.

The printed elements of the course will be connected by steel pipes, allowing kids to run, swing and climb in a wide variety of ways, in so doing refining their skills for this demanding sport.

The parkour playground isn’t the only innovative new design coming to Prague. A new railway-themed play area was opened for children on the cycle path below Vítkov hill this month, featuring a mini train, wagon, signal station, two tunnels, and two railway barriers.

Railway themed playground in Prague.
Railway themed playground in Prague.

Meanwhile, in Lysolaje, a suburb north of Prague, a replica pre-historic wooden rhinoceros has been built using oak, larch, and acacia, for little ones to climb and admire. Artists Roman Švejda and Lukáš Gavlovský claim it's the world's largest rhinoceros sculpture. The new playground is part of revitalization plans for the area and is located in a former sandpit where the skeletal remains of a prehistoric rhinoceros were actually found. The back of the sculpture will change color throughout the seasons.

Prague’s newest play areas form part of a global trend towards more creative playgrounds featuring greater use of technology. 3D printing meanwhile continues to make giant strides the world over, with a 3D printed retractable bridge unveiled in Shanghai and a stainless-steel bridge made using 3D printing in the Netherlands. And as outdoor games incorporating a virtual dimension appear in Prague and around the world, the distinction between traditional and modern modes of recreation is blurring for kids and adults alike.

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