Indoor Play Places Around the World

Scarano Architect
5 min readJan 17, 2022

As a society, we are aware of the importance of allowing children to play freely in public, outdoor spaces. There is a great need for fun and safe places that allow them to experience urban life. Due to inclement weather or safety conditions, it is becoming increasingly popular to create instituted leisure spaces in indoor environments. These indoor spaces permit children the freedom and security they need to learn and grow. Below you will read about incredible examples of how interior architecture can help create play spaces for kids of all ages. Around the globe, communities are helping their children take their first steps in the
a world with greater confidence mingled with fun.

— KM Kindergarten and Nursery-Osaka, Japan
This building is surrounded by an intermediate central courtyard and includes a ramp leading from the ground to the roof. The internal steps and ramps contribute to a child’s movement and encourage them to explore all sides of the construction. It is an adequate environment for kids to run around in complete safety. The amount of exercise they get is greatly improved.

Brutalist Playground- London, England
This playground was inspired by several city landmarks. It is interactive and contains old concrete games which offer children abstract, open landscapes and encourage various types of play. These playgrounds no longer exist because were considered unsafe. This Brutalist playground was born to explore the joy in brutalism. The original playgrounds were made of concrete and cast into sculptural forms to offer children an abstract landscape for play. They evoked a disappearing world of concrete mazes and windswept walkways. Complete with playable structures with sharp edges and hammered concrete forms it speaks of a time before soft play and highly regulated public spaces.
— Timeshare Kindergarten, Gradcu, Slovenia
The central core of the building contains the colors of the rainbow and elements to stimulate the learning of numbers. Blackboards promote artistic conception, cushions scattered for children to have moments of reflection. A large slide is a fun alternative to stairs. This kindergarten was designed to encourage interaction, peer-learning as well as self-
learning. The open floor plan merges all spaces together to form an unlimited play area. The timeshare approach gives the kids the chance to enjoy an adjusted schedule according to their interests and provides more access to play and learning activities. Most of the furniture is on wheels allowing fast and efficient changes and spatial configurations.
— Landscape for Play, Madrid, Spain
This interactive, child-centered installation was designed to create an adaptable, exciting playground for spontaneous and unregulated play.
This artist commissioned project sought to give a new role to children in cultural institutions. It was inspired by the Dutch playground designer, Aldo van Eyck. This playground is based on architectural structures in the locality, changing shapes from the surrounding Spanish capital into an interior space. The hall was transformed with structures, shapes, and colors that invite all children to use this new place in an imaginative way. It’s playful; composed of hidden crevices and different elevations with no rigid restrictions. It’s a place where kids and their imaginations can run wild. The flexibility of the design with its ramps, cylinders, stairs, and blocks means the playground could also act as a setting for a range of activities such as lectures or concerts. This creates a play place for adults as well as children.
— Frederiksvej Kindergarten, Frederiksburg, Denmark
This Danish kindergarten’s main objective is to simulate a small city for children, expanding the boundaries of traditional school and play. This miniature city is comprised of eleven small blocks in the form of houses slightly separated from each other. Diversity has been a keyword for the design, where a variety of rooms support diverse activities for children in all seasons. It was important to create an intimate space for the children’s small worlds in the kindergarten, where they spend a large part of their day. It is a place that provides the best possible setting for the kids to grow up in, promoting learning and creativity. The space’s levels and slopes also become part of the game, completely protected by safety nets. This kindergarten offers the children the opportunity to establish small individualized spaces, but at the same time, a coherent and clear organization of the institution has been highly prioritized. A continuous simple design has been a key to the concept of the building.

Starburst House, Beijing, China
Working at home has many advantages but it can prove difficult to those who have to care for children without losing focus on professional obligations. This house in China is a space that assists this way of life. It is an environment that is simultaneously calm and quiet for parents to work in and stimulating and creative for children to play and develop their imagination. Security is guaranteed by the home’s layout. The construction of the ceiling, which was most difficult, created the most beautiful area and preserved the space advantage of the ceiling height. The configuration of the interior and the application of furniture coincide with activity time and the status of its inhabitants. The upper floor is the master bedroom and study. The more spacious layer below is for socialization with a higher level of activity. One corner of the living room is the children’s game room. The line of sight is helpful for the parents to supervise the children.
— Caboolture GP Super Clinic, Caboolture, Australia
This project demonstrates the insertion of recreational spaces within a hospital environment. This space takes advantage of the “ Salutgenesis” approach. It includes vertical gardens, fish ponds, and an atrium to promote feelings of healings and rest. Its creators believe that spaces full of light provide an organic and relaxing atmosphere located within an often tense place. Located in the central area of the hospital, the environment is fun and interactive. The light-filled spaces provide an organic and calming atmosphere. Light, space, breezes, and ergonomics were considered in the creation of this space. The daily indoor activity of children helps to solve the universal problem of lack of exercise caused by inadequate sites to play. Cultures around the world understand the importance of play in the life of a child. Combating the problem of inclement weather, safety conditions, and lack of affordable space has become a priority. Do your part to create a safe space for your children to play. They will surely be grateful.

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