Dallas International School TPS Students Welcome New Playground Designed by DIS Site Committee
This October, Dallas International School TPS students were treated to a brand new playground on our Churchill campus. The design for this playground was based on the vision of Rebecca Browning, Dr. Jessie Marshall Zarazaga and the Site Committee, which consists of a small group of volunteering DIS parents that work in the architecture/construction/design industry.
This group, collaborating with the Head of School and Head of Primary, continue to bring a thoughtfully-designed vision to the school shared by both campuses. The Site Committee’s vision is to create and update all new school projects and bring a unified coherence to the image of the school while ensuring the projects remain modern, international and ecological.
For the new playground, the Site Committee designed a pirate ship with an accompanying train concept and developed decking and canopies to complete the feel of a real ship. The committee agreed that the section of the campus selected was ideal and would be the perfect size and location for a separate playground solely for the younger students. The goal was to use the existing site slope and incorporate the new playground design into the slope. This design provided several advantages, including making a more interesting way to incorporate the existing slope into the design, making it more cost effective than leveling the entire site and avoiding possible drainage issues.
It was also important to the Site Committee to use natural, sustainable and warm wood and materials in the design, which is a priority for Dallas International School (the wood used also intentionally matches the new wood structure of the CP-CM1 playground). The wood platforms were designed into the landscape and were scaled appropriately to fit the site and maximize open play areas. The pirate ship was added onto the wood platforms as a fun new element for students. The slides are from a playground company called Goric, whose designs are inspired by modern European playground equipment (as opposed to US plastic-based equipment).
Finally, the circular holes in the white stucco wall separating the TPS playground from the main campus were added, visually connecting the two areas while still maintaining some separation. These circular holes are also mirrored in a pirate ship design for continuity. Architect and DIS parent, Jessie Marshall, added, “TPS children require an age-specific play area that incorporates safety and learning features which are different from a standard playground. DIS chose to create a playground that fits these needs and allows a safe and collaborative play area in a smaller, more protective setting with the train and pirate ship encouraging imaginative play.”