play areas

Family Recreation Area, Tuxedo NC

A growing family that loves to be outside together hired Lift[ED] to convert an existing clay tennis court into a recreation area that serves multiple generations and allows them to be together while enjoying their time outside. Taking an intergenerational approach to design, we included a walking/riding track, a multipurpose lawn, a horseshoe pit, a court for games, a fire pit, and a covered picnic area surrounded by a lush garden of native plants. 

Discovery Grove at The North Carolina Museum of Art

The Discovery Grove is a nature based play area to be constructed in the existing woodland behind the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Theater in the NC Museum of Art Park. The grove will incorporate universal design principles and sensory garden concepts to engage a broad user population including those with all manner of abilities and mobility constraints. The woodland area where the grove will be constructed is approximately 2.45 acres, allowing ample space for the grove to accommodate visitors. The grove will expand on the NCMA’s mission to explore the intersection of art and nature by engaging directly with underserved populations, families with young and school-age children, formal, and non-formal educational programs. Unlike other areas of the park, the grove will promote interaction, exploration, and manipulation through a series of carefully selected features that exhibit and highlight the relationship between nature and art. This grove is for a variety of types of learning styles but uniquely offers tactile engagement targeted towards heightening the senses, exciting the imagination, and inspiring further discovery.

Primary Colors ELC - Dixon Rd.

Primary Colors is a 5 star licensed child care facility in Durham, NC. The owner, director, and staff are all committed to the idea that outdoor play is a critical component of childhood development. Their renovated outdoor learning environment supports their preschool classroom's curriculum, providing for extensions outside. Kids get to spend time outside, building, balancing, riding, and learning with their whole body instead of being cooped up in the classroom. Outdoor time here is fun and the learning doesn't stop, it gets amplified by nature.

Schematic design by Jesse Turner and Sarah Konradi at the Natural Learning Initiative
Design follow-through, construction drawings, and construction admin by Lift[ED].
 

Durant Road Preschool

Durant Road Preschool is a 5 star licensed childcare center in Raleigh, NC. Our goals for the transformation of their preschool playground into an outdoor learning environment were to create synergy across the site. We kept existing playground equipment in place, weaving a curvy 5' wide path throughout the site. The project includes many new features, but also re-purposed several existing manufactured play items such as playhouses, toy cars, and shade structures. We've taken a space that had all the common playground components and created a unique naturalized outdoor learning environment. We added a water play area with a hand pump, a grass maze, a central lawn, the "trike track", a bridge, and many natural products such as locust balance beams provided by Wild Child Workshop.