For years, Amsterdam’s paddling pools have been disappearing as kids abandon them and maintenance costs rise. In order to save them, architecture firm Carve created this futuristic, pebble-shaped object for the famous Oosterpark paddling pool. The structure is dotted with climbing holes and equipped with integrated sprayers for summer fun that helps make the park a kid-magnet once again.
Famous Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck designed more than 700 public play zones in Amsterdam in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, including the one in Oosterpark. For decades these additions to the city parks have functioned as a favorite hangout for kids. Over the last few decades, some of these play zones have disappeared. By 2010, only 90 remained, including the paddling pool in the Oosterpark. In 2012, the municipality commissioned architecture firm Carve to design an addition to the existing pool.
The project is part of a wider initiative to revitalize the entire Oosterpark area. The designers kept as much as possible of the existing structure and designed an addition that complements the original design. A large object with climbing holes and integrated sprayers, new seating edges made from natural stone, and play-programmed LED lights were added to the pool area.
Photos by Jasper van der Schaaf