Rupimanteri – A safe playground in the city center

For Municipality Finance and City of Joensuu

”It’s great for the children to have a safe playground in centre of the city. Rupimanteri is not only an exciting place to play, but also an art piece and a wonderful addition to the public art scene of the city.”

Sari Kaasinen, Cultural Director, City of Joensuu

Playful sculpture and playground design.

Location: City of Joensuu, Finland

Year: 2019

In spring 2019 we got an interesting challenge – to create an imaginative playground to the very centre of the city of Joensuu. The space reserved for the playground was compact, and it was located by a busy cycle path. It was important to create a safe environment with adequate fence-like elements to separate the playing area from the traffic. We also had to keep in mind the cohesivety and preserving the views of the town centre.

In search for inspiration we turned to nature. A rare local lizard species called rupimanteri was chosen as the theme of the playground. The shape and texture of the lizard offered inspiration for varied playable shapes and details.

The back and tail parts of the lizard were cast in concrete. The black spots of the skin and the eye made of steel form playful globes on the street, working as balancing element for the kids. Soft and safe surface of poured rubber was used to mimic the body shape. The colors of the playground were carefully chosen to compliment those of the environment and the city centre.

Photography by Miska Korpelainen (Miska Photography). Illustration: Berry Creative

Want to hear more? Please contact:

Kaisa Berry

Environmental artist, Architect 50 534 8839