THE OVAL PLAYGROUND
Palazola Field, Gloucester, MA
The existing "Oval" Playground in Gloucester's Palazola Field consisted of a swing, a slide and a dilapidated play structure, each of which was set in a square of wood chips and separated by rectilinear asphalt paths. The City asked for an updated and integrated playground with equipment for both 2-5 and 5-12 year olds. It also asked that the new playground retain three mature Crimson King Maples.
Drawing on the name of the "Oval" Playground, the design for the new play area consists of two intersecting oval-shaped play areas, one for 2-5 year olds, and the other for 5-12 year olds, both encircled by an oval-shaped perimeter path and seating area. Children are allowed to run freely between the two play areas, unimpeded by paths or edging. Consequently, the playground reads as a cohesive whole rather than two distinct areas.
The specific pieces of Miracle play equipment were chosen by the neighborhood children through a series of open public meetings. The neighborhood also helped to install the playground equipment over the course of a weekend.