The former playground has been transformed into a tailor-made environment, a so-called Skills Garden which is all about stimulating, challenging and having fun when exercising. The playscape is part of living, working and leisure activities, where people can meet and be together. The Skills Garden is a social infrastructure that attracts people and promotes social interaction. A place for young and old, where activities are offered throughout the week and around the clock. The attention to design of this structure ensures a pleasant environment for relaxing and socialising.
Uit: International Magazine for sports, leisure and recreational facilities
Almere Haven is the oldest part of the city of Almere, where the first houses were built in the mid-1970s. The city’s population has now far exceeded 200,000 and is upgrading a number of areas. One of the projects has been the replacement of its sports hall. It was one of the oldest buildings in Almere and needed renovation after 40 years of trusty service. The sports hall was rotated through 180 degrees, and as a result the entrance now faces the park.
This rotation had consequences for the facilities around it: the old Haven playing area, an asphalt surface suitable for football and basketball, also had to be included in the new design. The idea arose to create a Skills Garden here instead of a “standard pitch”. A project group was formed to involve everyone in the process, i.e. the municipality of Almere, the Athletic Skills Model group (ASM), and the locals with their ideas, wishes and preconditions.
For all target groups
With the implementation of the Skills Garden, the municipality of Almere has made it possible for local residents, sports clubs, schools and health institutions to offer opportunities for a healthy and vital lifestyle in a sustainable way. Seniors can gather to train their balancing skills, for example, or play with children, and schools can offer gym classes here. Generally speaking, the Skills Garden is suitable for all target groups: people with and without disabilities, children, adolescents, adults and seniors who engage in organised or free-style exercise: the Skills Garden is open to all. Groups from schools, sports clubs, fire and police departments, health centres, community sports coaches and carers can come to the Skills Garden to carry out their training or exercise programmes.
This universal provision focuses on the basic forms of exercise, such as balancing, supporting, hanging, throwing, shooting, climbing, swinging and moving to music. These basic forms of exercise satisfy the key preconditions for getting and staying fit, such as strength, speed, flexibility, endurance and agility. The Skills Garden tries with its colours, shapes, furnishings and various surfaces to be challenging and attractive for every user. In this way, everybody is (un) consciously encouraged to develop in a versatile, creative and fun attitude to sport, games and exercises.