The pavilion of Anansi playground in Utrecht, The Netherlands, project by Mulders vandenBerk Architecten; photo Roel Backaert
Creativity of architects, imagination of children, plus high-tech materials combine to create a children’s playground in the Netherlands
In Utrecht, The Netherlands, a new playground pavilion highlights the many exterior cladding attributes of Corian® solid surface. As part of the Anansi playground in Kanaleneiland, the structure features gentle fairytale-style decorations engraved into the surface, whose themes were selected by the children living in the surrounding area. Corian® solid surface is a global leader among architecture and design material. The pavilion is a design of Mulders vandenBerk Architecten of Amsterdam.
Corian® is used for cladding the external walls of the entire pavilion within a ventilated façade concept, delivering superior beauty and functionality. DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced building membrane protects the pavilion from moisture and weathering agents, enhancing the comfort of the indoor environment.
The pavilion designed by Mulders vandenBerk Architecten is the first application of Corian® external cladding in the Netherlands. This project also represents the first usage of panels made with Corian® solid surface with engraved decorations for the external cladding of a building.
The usage of Corian® solid surface for external cladding of buildings is an application area successfully launched by DuPont with the worldwide acclaimed Seeko’o Hotel project in Bordeaux, France, followed by the enormous Palais des Congrès of the Ivory Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and some private villas in different countries.
Architect Chris Van den Berk stated: “The city council of Utrecht selected us for this project because we had already proven our ability to design a building within a tight deadline. We had been asked to design a building where children could play and relax for the new Anansi playground in Kanaleneiland. This building stands in the middle of the playground, which has been made especially for children ages 4 to 12 years old.”
The creative façade of the children's play pavilion - minimalistic in terms of colour but eye-catching in terms of visual appeal - is made entirely with 12 mm thick panels of Corian® solid surface in bold Glacier White.
The characters and patterns applied into the surface of the Corian® panels are inspired by fairytales from all over the world. The neighbourhood children were directly involved in the creation of the decoration for the cladding. Children were interviewed and asked about their favourite fairytales. Design Arbeid graphic design studio took these fairytales and turned them into drawings. In the various panels made with Corian®, each drawing seems to flow into the next, creating a sort of puzzle-like pattern. As children get closer to the wall, they recognise favourite fairytales they had proposed.
“We tested many materials and saw that Corian® was the best solution to meet our design requirements and goals. The possibility to create a personalised ‘skin’ for the pavilion plus the other many qualities of Corian® - seamless look, strength, scratch resistance, ease of cleaning, repairability, and aesthetic beauty - are really a very good mix of properties for this environment.” said architect Joost Mulders.
The wonderful decoration on the surface of the panels and the installation of the panels themselves was performed by Roord Binnenbouw BV company of Amsterdam, which specialises in the fabrication and installation of Corian® solid surface.
The walls of the pavilion feature a special technical solution for the protection against moisture and weathering agents. The rainwater drains behind the façade in an ingenious way, made possible by covering the actual structure of the pavilion with DuPont™ Tyvek® Roofliner (type 2460B) advanced building membrane.
Joost Mulders and Chris Van den Berk describe the children's play pavilion as an optimistic building in a neighbourhood bustling with life: “It has become a lively, playful and noticeable building, thanks to the use of the beautifully decorated panels made with Corian® wall cladding. We think that the contrast between the flat white exterior and the busy, colourful interior is a great success and very cheerful solution.”
Based in Amsterdam, Mulders vandenBerk Architecten are designers working in different fields, from product design to city planning. Mulders vandenBerk Architecten creates and realises innovative and strong designs for interior design, architecture and urban designs for a diverse range of clients.