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MONSTRUM: Inspiring a playful experience

October 31, 2022

Danish MONSTRUM has designed a playground for the brand-new riverfront park Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. With the goal to inspire and facilitate play for children of all abilities, the playground focuses on challenging their imaginations and motor skills through architectural quality.

An immersive riverfront playground

’The Land of the River Giants’ is an innovative, larger-than-life playground custom-designed to educate both kids and adults about the river that passes through Tulsa and its wildlife through an immersive play experience. Seamlessly integrated into the expansive green area surrounding it, the centrepiece comprises two seven-meter-tall herons, joined by a steel mesh tunnel with each its own giant tunnel slide. The towering birds create a fun challenge for the older kids, inviting them to test their limits by scaling the birds before enjoying the rush of sliding down from them. For the younger kids and those with special needs, the paddlefish is a great, accessible adventure with its low and untraditional entrance through the mouth. The insides of the fish are carefully designed with small wooden sculptures and the gaps between the wooden boards create a fascinating play of light inside.

Meet the creative frontrunners from MONSTRUM. The play enthusiast Ole Barslund shares how his company challenge children through artistic and architectural quality design. Read more in our Focus issue on design-driven innovation.

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MONSTRUM's thematic playgrounds spark the imagination and inspire movement while gathering both kids and adults.

MONSTRUM was founded in 2003 by Ole Barslund Nielsen. Ole's background in art and scenography design in the theater world sparked the idea for a new kind of playground company. The catalyst for the creation of the company was a local kindergarten playground project. When the kindergarten that Ole’s five-year-old son, Sixten Gustav, attended was looking to source a new playground, Ole joined a parent committee tasked with planning the project.

At MONSTRUM's Copenhagen-based workshop, 50 builders, architects, and designers craft and export playgrounds to countries all over the world.