Aldo van Eyck. Drawing of sandpits, somersault frames, climbing frames, play tables, and climbing mountains. 1960
Van Eyck, like his friends Peter and Alison Smithson, was fascinated by the relationship between the child and the postwar city. He joined the Department of City Development at Amsterdam Public Works in 1947, and in the decades that followed he designed more than seven hundred playgrounds for the city. These spaces, often created from derelict lots, incorporated sandpits, metal climbing frames, stepping stones, and small concrete divots to collect rainwater in abstract compositions. Van Eyck, who considered physical recreation an important part of children’s development, defined areas for free-form activity without being closed off from the surrounding community.
Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild