BELGRADE DESIGN WEEK 2014 PANEL 100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia
Foundations are making a huge comeback in Belgrade. Following the decision to establish the commission for facades restoration which will be funded with donations, the City of Belgrade announced it continues the cooperation with Belgrade Design Week in building playgrounds for children, which will also be a modern form of endowment. The process of building the first playground was presented at the panel held during this year’s Belgrade Design Week – the playground that was built a year ago at the Kalemegdan park under the project “100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia”, and the opening of another one by the end of this year was announced..
Playgrounds under the project “100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia” are to be built exclusively on public areas, selected in agreement with local administrations, in order to ensure open access to all children. The unique formula of public-private partnerships between local administrations and private donors is a key to the success of this non-profit project:
– The City cannot finance the construction of playgrounds, but it will provide locations for their construction. We also want to start the program of organizing public areas for which we are preparing the Book of Standards. It will specify elements for each public enterprise, so that crossroads will not have three different types of curbs, different garbage cans, benches… This kind of standard already exists in all the world cities and this way we will create continuity which in the coming decades will make Belgrade look uniform, neat and beautiful. Each of the eleven city boroughs should appoint one person who will be in charge of marking 15-20 important spots in the municipal maps. In case of the most significant spots international competitions will be announced, for the minor ones – student competitions, and the third category of public areas can be used for playgrounds, said the City Architect, Milutin Folić.
At the first playground designed at the Kalemegdan park, Belgrade Design Week connected, as donors, the City of Belgrade with its offices and Property Development Ltd., Serbian branch of the Greek company Lamda Development, known for the construction of a complex on the site of the former Beko factory, restoring the part of Dorćol between the Fortress and the Danube. Their participation in “100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia” has made it possible for one of the most important playgrounds in Belgrade, which was shut down by inspection because it did not meet the basic safety standards, to become an innovative playground, in terms of concept, quality and design, but also the kind of place that has the world-class quality seen in the greatest cities of Europe and the world.
– Joint forces of experience and youth bring the best results. We are in the business of construction and reconstruction of playgrounds. Our goal was to create a place children can enjoy. It was the first playground which marked the beginning of cooperation with Belgrade Design Week and the donors, and we are currently working on a playground project funded by NIS, said Nina Jandrić, secretary of the Secretariat for Utilities and Housing Services.
– I was walking around Kalemegdan recently, and I realized that a year after the opening of the playground nothing was broken, which proves the quality of playground components is very high. I think that the implementation of this project was facilitated by good cooperation between all the partners: city authorities, investors, designers and Belgrade Design Week. Children’s enjoyment is the reason our company is particularly glad to be a part of this project, said Boris Tancabelić, director of the Lamda development’s Belgrade office.
A young Belgrade-based architecture studio “MADA”, which drew the public’s attention after representing Serbia at the Venice Biennale in 2012, was appointed to design the first playground. In partnership with the Embassy of Finland, the Finnish company Lappset – one of the world’s most creative and awarded international playground design and manufacturing companies – also participated in the project. Lappset even gave a 50% discount for components of the first playground in Belgrade.
– Lappset is an example of great Finnish design. The company has been producing practical objects for decades, and we are happy that the children in Serbia now get to use their products. I used to play on their playgrounds as a child, said Outi Isotalo, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Finland in Belgrade
With the cooperation of the leading professionals in the field of innovation and design, the project “100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia” enables the creation of playgrounds that will last, that meet all the sustainability standards, keep up with the times in which we live, and provide children with safety and comfort in a creative, active and versatile space for play.