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 Murergården på Nørrebro i København
Fra nedslidt legeplads til grøn oase på stenbroen

Forslaget til renoveringen af Murergårdens legeplads blev udarbejdet af en arbejdsgruppe under ledelse af landskabsarkitekt Helle Nebelong på baggrund af en temadag om legepladser, som det daværende Socialdirektorat holdt i november 1996 for institutionslederne i Københavns Kommune.

Den integrerede institutionen Murergården har godt 60 vuggestue- og børnehavebørn og omkring 100 børn i alderen 7-14 år i fritidshjemmet.
Legepladsen var tidligere opdelt i to selvstændige legepladser – én for de yngste børn og én for de ældste. Et terrænspring på knap 2 meter og et hegn adskilte de to legepladser.

Temadagen viste, at der var et generelt ønske om mere natur på legepladsen i form af varieret beplantning og områder med sand, vand, klatrestammer, bearbejdet terræn og mere løse naturmaterialer som grus, perlesten, træstød o. lign.

Institutionen Murergården havde selv mange konkrete ønsker til, hvordan legepladsen skulle indrettes. Først og fremmest skulle der være mere naturindhold og masser af udfordringer, som kan styrke børns motoriske færdigheder.

Legepladsens idémæssige udgangspunkt er et oaselignende centrum med organisk formede plantninger, der spiller godt op til de omgivende bygningers firkantede massiver.

Muregården maj 2005
Muregården maj 2005

Udformningen giver børnene mere naturmæssigt nuancerede udfoldelsesmuligheder. Der er mulighed for at lege med jord, grus, perlesten, sand, vand og træ. Der er muligheder for, at børnene kan trække sig tilbage i mindre grupper og finde nicher og kroge, hvor de kan lege uforstyrret, mens andre børn måske leger mere vildt og pladskrævende.

Niveauerne mellem den nuværende øvre og nedre legeplads er forbundet af et terrasseret skråningsanlæg, hvor de enkelte trin er dekoreret med forskellige finere og grovere belægningssten.

Nedenfor skråningen breder sig et stort, organisk formet område. Det er kantet af forskellige palisade- og stammestykker og sten, som alt sammen er godt at balancere på. Der er også klatrestammer.

Den lille asfalterede soppesø fyldes om sommeren af vand fra brandslangen, som placeres øverst i vandrenden på legepladsens øverste terrasse. Søen er omsluttet af pilekrat, hvorfra der kan plukkes pilegrene.

FØR renoveringen
UNDER renoveringen

EFTER renoveringen

English summary:

The Integrated Institution Murergården på Nørrebro

The old playground from the 1970's was completely run down and was to be renovated in 1996. The social authorities decided to hold a theme day on playgrounds for the leaders of institutions for children in Copenhagen. Workshops were held, among other things, where the people working in the institutions should put forward their ideas for the ”perfect” playground. It was stressed right from the start, that there would not be the usual economic speculation or discussions about safety in the playground. On the contrary, it should be imagination alone, supported by pedagogical arguments, which would decide the final suggestion for a playground.
Helle Nebelong had the job to collate the many suggestions and, on the basis of these, design a new playground for Murergården.

The institution has 64 children aged 0-6 and 100 children aged 7-14. The play area is only 1.050 m2. It was split up earlier into two separate playgrounds. There was a fence between them and a difference in level of at least 2 m.
Large blocks of flats surround the playground. It is used outside opening times by the local children and young people and is therefore subject to a lot of wear and tear.

The theme day confirmed a general wish for more nature in the playground and a lot of possibilities for the children to do physical training.

Apart from this the playground should be less open, that is laid out with many different spaces and hidden caves, where the children can ”get away” and play in peace without being watched over by adults.
There were requests for different surfaces, e.g. asphalt for cycling, roller-skating and other forms of self-transport, for ball games and as a king of block for drawing or hopscotch. There should also be sand, tiles, paths and steps and different uneven stones, soft forest floor, wood chips and gravel. Bridges would also be good, both bridges over canals and hanging bridges over ditches. For once the majority of employees could agree that they would like water in the playground. The general consensus is often otherwise, that water is far too dangerous because you can drown in it. In the ”perfect” playground, however, there should be water steps, paddling pools, canals and an outdoor shower spray, where the muddy children could be rinsed off.
When we started there were some big willow trees, but there should also be fruit bushes, a willow copse and a lot of flowers.
They did not want traditional play equipment, but they got a slide anyway, plus a couple of play houses, which were built on the site, so that the children could watch and be part of it.

The result was a little oasis with organically shaped planting, which complemented the massive surfaces of the surrounding buildings. The largest area of the playground is for the use of all the children, but it is possible to close off a little area for the nursery children.

The higher and lower levels have been connected by a terraced slope, which has become a central feature in the playground.
At the bottom of the slope is a wide, organically formed space. This is bordered by bits of palisade and tree stumps and stones, which are all good to balance on. There is one tree trunk in the sand for climbing.

The little paddling pool is asphalted and is connected to a channel and spring on the upper part of the playground. In the summer a fire-hose is used to fill the steps with water, which falls down to the paddling pool. It takes a couple of hours to fill it. The water is then turned off and allowed to stay in the pool until it is emptied in the evening. The pool is encircled by a willow copse, where willow stems can be picked, for use in plaiting smaller fences, basket weaving etc. Butterfly bushes have been planted and perennial flowers, which attract butterflies and other insects.
The total cost of construction was 750.000 DKr.

At the beginning there were many reservations about the playground. Parents said that the playground was dangerous with all the big stones. The employees of the institution said it was just too boring.
The playground has now been in existence for almost ten years. The parents now say, that the children are happier now when they come home. The leader of the institution says that there are fewer conflicts in the playground. They are really happy with the playground, especially with the water. A constructive debate has arisen between parents and employees in the institution about how far one can protect a child and try to prevent him from coming to harm.

 


 © Helle Nebelong


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