Waterloo, Rebosante
Philadelphia, PA


2016 International Play Space Competition Winner

Roofmeadow and collaborators from Studio Ludo and Space for Childhood developed a winning design for Norris Square Waterloo Recreation Park. A very popular park in the summer, its pool and basketball courts are set in a field of aging pavement. The design updates the park’s severe hardscape by overlaying the existing concrete with a living ‘veneer’ hydrological system. The ‘veneer’ greening strategy invests resources in functional hydrology, artful terrain, native plantings and the play opportunities they provide, in lieu of demolition and excavation. Our goal was to honor the park’s existing community role, while incorporating green space, stormwater capture, broader play opportunities, and improving usability for all generations. The central axis and concrete core of the park was designated “plaza” - preserving space for court games, large events and potential popup markets. A loop of activity encircles all areas of the park – offering the chance to move up and down, test balancing ability, and explore varying natural material conditions. From the edges of the park, materially-rich planted areas offer sanctuary from hard surfaces and large events. Re-use of existing infrastructure drove our team to strategize design interventions for maximal effect and minimize demolition. The existing concrete planes were manipulated to direct rainwater into interactive play features.

Of forty entries submitted to the Community Design Collaborative for the international Play Space competition, our team won for the Waterloo Park category.  Our entry was ranked first in its class by each of the three deciding juries: the expert jury, community jury AND award jury.