London-based, non-profit design studio Catalytic Action has designed and built a playground for the Nahreya School in Bar Elias, Lebanon. The school was developed to cater to children who have fled their home country of Syria.
The team of architects at Catalytic Action designed the playground with the input of the children themselves. The studio engaged with the Syrian refugee children of the Nahreya School through a series of participatory exercises that were aimed at understanding their playing practices and play spaces. The children communicated their desires and requirements through brainstorming, collages and drawing
The children suggested swings, slides, balls, seesaws, jump ropes and elastic cords. “The environment that was most recurrent among the children’s ideas was a green space with flowers and trees; a place where they can play with their friends and relax,” says Catalytic Action. “The sun was shining in their images even though sometimes clouds are depicted.”