Designed by the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Thompson Park has been a treasured public green space for over a century. Featuring a zoo, pavilions, exercise trails, and numerous spaces for sports and activities, it offers a huge variety of options to Watertown residents. However, an old wooden playground, though a beautiful structure, was imposing and dark rather than fun and inviting. Splinters were common, and visibility into the twists and turns was limited for parents on the ground.
Parkitects stepped in to design a new play space, including a state of the art splash pad. The new playground has equipment for children of all ages, with separate spaces for age groups to avoid clutter and any conflict. The main 5-12 area includes an expansive structure connected by decks and bridges that provides just as many avenues for climbing, sliding, and hiding as did the original playground, but has much more visibility and fewer hazards. Independent components such as spinners, swings, and climbing structures provide additional fun challenges, while sensory panels offer a quieter play experience. To tie in the natural appearance of the original structure, colors such as brown, yellow, and green were used, creating a play space that’s cohesive with the rest of the park’s environment.
Many of the same colors were used in the splash pad, which also incorporated organic shapes to create a fun, imaginative space. A large variety of water features invite kids of all ages and abilities to cool off, whether by using a water play table or running under a dynamic spray tower. With the tall heights of these pieces, parents can even join in the fun!