Opening today at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Brutalist Playground is the latest work by Turner Prize nominees Assemble (a young design collective from London), with artist Simon Terrill. An interactive exhibition, which aims to bring back to life the abstract, concrete playgrounds that were designed as part of the post-war housing estates in the mid-twentieth century, it is part of the ongoing London Festival of Architecture.

Celebrating a generation of spaces – many of which have since disappeared or are no longer considered safe to play on – the show is part-sculpture, part-architectural installation, with visitors invited to come and play ‘the brutalist way’ (though now on reconstituted foam…).

Artist Simon Terrill explains: “The original playgrounds evoke a disappearing world of concrete mazes and windswept walkways. Like a Brechtian stage set rendered in concrete, they speak to a time before soft play and highly regulated public space. The recreation of these forms is a kind of inverted hyper-Brutalism. Playable structures reveling in the sharp edged bush hammered concrete forms they reference. The surreal edges of the Brutalist aesthetic are seen here in the form of the playground.”

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 10 June until 16 August at RIBA, Portland Place, London W1

 

More in Features

Writers Bloc #1 Val McDermid

By , 25th September 2018
Features, Regulars
From imposter syndrome to plotting, in a new series for Marie Claire authors give me chapter and verse on how the writing process works for them - starting with multi award-winning crime writer Val McDermid, who has written 32 books in as many years

The Lives of Others #6

By , 23rd July 2018
Education, Features, Regulars, Travel
Georgie Higginson moved from the UK to Uganda 14 years ago. After losing their daughter to stillbirth, she and her husband were inspired to build a lodge on the banks of the River Nile, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park - an area once occupied by LRA rebels

Global Village #6

By , 9th July 2018
Design, Features, Regulars, Travel
Designer Kate Pietrasik lived in London, Edinburgh, New York and Byron Bay before moving to a town near Biarritz when her daughter was four years old. She reflects on life as a 'blended family', running her own business, and the joy of being rootless

Global Village #2

By , 7th May 2018
Features
Bridie Woodward swapped London for New York 'for a few months', six years ago. She reflects on accidentally making a life for herself, between an apartment in the city and a cottage in Montauk

How to… Go plastic-free

By , 4th May 2018
Features
Mother-of-two Bettina Maidment has spent the past 18 months living almost entirely without plastic, while reducing her overall waste so significantly that she only takes out the bins once every few months... Here is how