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MONSTRUM: Inspiring a playful learning experience at Pier 26 in New York

June 12, 2024

Danish MONSTRUM is behind The Science Playground, which is home to two larger-than-life sturgeons that stretch up amongst New York’s surrounding skyscrapers and are packed with fun learning opportunities for children.

An inspirational playground accomondating the marine life of the Hudson River

Danish MONSTRUM is behind the design of the new playground at Hudson River Park's Pier 26. Accommodating the marine life of the Hudson River, the playground invites and inspire children to explore and learn. Here, kids can journey through the 24-meter-long endangered creatures, learning about their anatomy, habitat and nature as they play.


The sculptures represent an atlantic sturgeon and a shortnose sturgeon and are designed in collaboration with OLIN and The Hudson River Park Trust. MONSTRUM believe that the visual expression of a playground is of great value for all children. Therefore, driven by the desire to create sculptural and impressive elements in the cityscape that grab children's attention, both fish are designed to inspire all children to move and explore the playground and to become part of an adventure.

Furthermore, the playground is designed with focus on accessibility and inclusivity, inviting all children regardless of their abilities and challenges. For example, the large atlantic sturgeon is accessible to wheelchair users by way of a ground-level opening and incorporates ramps with grips inside to enable climbing and crawling to the slides for those with limited mobility.

The playground is designed as a recreational and educational resource for New York families, and it will also serve as the outdoor extension of the environmental programming at the ecology-focused Pier 26.

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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.