This Transformable Playground Invents New Games For Tiny Spaces In Crowded Cities

In overcrowded Seoul, there’s little room for parks. If someone wants to book time at one of the few public fields to play baseball or soccer, it can take a couple of months to get a reservation. To give more people access to play, a team of designers found a way to make more sports fit in the city: They shrank the typical sports field.

Folded up, their transformable, mobile playground has room for a game of mini soccer on one side and basketball on another. It also features a wall for practicing tennis, space for a game of target practice with flying discs, and a snack bar. Unfolded, it makes more room for soccer, and adds space for hammock-like hanging beds on the back.

None of the games are played quite like they usually would be. The basketball “court” is basically a tiny wall with three hoops, with different rules. (To win a short game, you have to make a basket in each hoop.)

“Seoul is suffering from a lack of space,” says designer Ji Hyun Park, from Seoul-based architecture firm Studio B.U.S.. “How can there be sports grounds that require huge space? . . . We think current sports rules are not proper in today’s dense city.”

The designers produced a prototype for Seoul–one of the most densely populated cities in the world–but think it could also be useful in other places. “Many cities have been suffering similar problems,” says Park. “All of the people don’t need full sports grounds. If anything, more people need their proper-sized sports facility.”

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