Baltic Street Adventure Playground

A new adventure play facility developed by Assemble in Dalmarnock, east Glasgow

Baltic Street Adventure Playground is a new adventure play facility in Dalmarnock, east Glasgow. The area hosted the main venues of the 2014 Commonwealth Games yet has little local provision for young people, with 55% of children still living below the poverty line.

Baltic Street Adventure Playground is our first project outside of London. Developed by Turner Prize-nominated art and architecture collective Assemble, it is being delivered in collaboration with Dalmarnock Community Centre, construction training centre First Steps Future Skills, and children and families who live nearby. The project is using the process of nurturing the playground into life to explore the role of the child in the city, and the legislative, material and social conditions that shape the opportunities available to them.

Taking inspiration from the post-war adventure play movement, the project is interested in uncovering the potential value that adventure play can offer to children growing up in an environment of relative scarcity and at a time of great change. Adventure playgrounds are child-led spaces where young people are encouraged to build, adapt and change their environment to suit their needs, where they are allowed to test and explore their own limits and achieve freedom and self-direction – rare in today’s increasingly risk-averse climate.

The research stage of the project fed into a programme of workshops and seminars that explored risk, play and adventure. Play Summit was curated by Nils Norman and Assemble as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art in April 2014. The three-day event considered the state of 
play in Scotland and beyond through a series of free talks, workshops, discussions and a symposium bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners working in play from around the world.

The Playground is free and is open from 11am–6pm Tuesday to Saturday in the school holidays and 3pm–6pm Tuesday to Friday and 11am–6pm on Saturdays during term time.

More information on the Baltic Street Adventure Playground project.

Follow the Baltic Street Adventure Playground project on Twitter: @BalticAp

Baltic Street Adventure Playground is a VELOCITY project delivered collaboratively by Assemble and Create and is funded by Creative Scotland, Clyde Gateway and Glasgow City Council. Play Summit was produced in collaboration with Nils’ Norman and Collective Gallery.

Assemble are a collaborative practice of artists, architects and researchers whose work focuses on challenging the typical disconnect between the public and the processes by which cities are made. Assemble and Create collaborated on a major project, Folly for a Flyover, on the outskirts of the Olympic Park in London in 2011. Baltic Street Adventure Playground now sees the two organisations working together again, bringing their knowledge of delivering major community art projects within the context of major sporting event, large-scale regeneration and social change.