I love surprises. The Frank Kitts Playground on the waterfront in Wellington gave me a brilliant one. I was walking along, minding my own business, when out of nowhere rose this wonderful play structure.
If you look carefully you can see the albatross weather vane adorning the top. The cartoonish spikes and spots upon which it sits seem to be there purely to cause speculation and wonder. What is less obvious is that every post going up the stairs and around the first floor platform have these beautiful silver shells which further reference Wellington’s maritime heritage…
There are several exits and entry points to the first level. Aside from stairs, there’s a small slide and two poles. I always think it’s a good sign when children are climbing up slides. I also saw a parent do the same on the big slide!
The second level is a caged affair. Whilst there’s no flashing lighthouse light, there is a fantastic view of the waterfront.
Both slides are constructed from what feels like fibreglass but I could be mistaken.
Regardless, you can see that it is a much loved and well-played on slide.
It’s been hard to find information online about who designed this feature and when. I think it would be great to know and to formally thank the designer and funders for creating fabulous example of how history, culture, art, innovative design and sheer fun can come together in one quirky play feature. We need this sort of approach to become commonplace.