Esplanade Playspace

Project Highlights

  • Natural Play Structure
  • Incorporation of Art
  • Community Outreach
  • Protection of Tree Canopy

As a part of a grassroots neighborhood initiative, Halvorson created a playspace for middle school-aged children to develop their gross motor skills along the Esplanade. The intensive community process involved a hands-on Back Bay neighborhood group, The Esplanade Association and DCR, with input from area schools on programmatic uses. After evaluating several sites, the design team chose its location near the Hatch Shell for its context and proximity to other amenities.

The playspace is oriented with its front door facing a major pedestrian intersection with maximized seating and a gateway designed to guide visitors into the play area. The equipment offers a challenging adventure play experience for older children with custom-designed pieces, including a rock wall structure, bridge, and sculptural climbing piece.

By working with an arborist, Halvorson was also able to save a number of the site’s mature trees and develop a maintenance plan for their lifespan.