Merit Award

Magical Bridge Universal Playground

Palo Alto, CA

RHAA Landscape Architecture + Planning

Verde Design

Principal Architects: Cordelia Hill, Principal Emeritus

Client: City of Palo Alto

The Magical Bridge Playground is about bridging the physical and social barriers which prevent children of all ages and abilities from uniting together in play. Working with the Friends of Magical Bridge and the City of Palo Alto, the playground was designed to give children of all abilities the opportunity to play independently and cooperatively. Children can move through the trees on an elevated walk, or hunt for hidden treasure in the Willow Grove, or swing, sway, spin, and slide, all on surfaces and equipment without barriers. To help children who may be unable to learn quickly how to maneuver through a large space, the playground has distinct zones for different types of activities: spinning, swinging, sliding, climbing, and exploring nature. The play opportunities are diverse, to meet the diverse developmental needs of children without segregating by one’s ability to participate in a particular type of activity.