Construction of world’s first computer-themed playground starts in Ruoholahti

The renovation project on Playground Ruoholahti, built in the early 1990s, will start at the end of October. The playground will be turned into a computer-themed playground, which will presumably be the first of its kind in the world. In the renovated playground, children can learn about computers and programming through play. The highlight of the playground is the theme-appropriate special play equipment designed and realised according to the ideas of author and illustrator Linda Liukas. The playground renovation project is estimated to be completed in September 2024.
Illustration of the upcoming main play equipment in the playground, which depicts a computer processor.  Photo: Monstrum
Illustration of the upcoming main play equipment in the playground, which depicts a computer processor. Photo: Monstrum

The renovation project aims to create a playground that will be an attractive learning environment to be used by instructors and visiting teachers.

The playground will have seven pieces of computer-themed special play equipment. In addition to them, the other play equipment, park furniture and surface materials will be linked to the same theme of computers.

The main play equipment will be a two-part tower that depicts a computer processor. Smaller children can play with computer-themed spring swings and a sandbox shaped like a gaming controller.

The renovation project will also involve renewing the plants, fences and light fixtures in the playground.

Award-winning Monstrum appointed as play equipment partner

The City of Helsinki has developed author and illustrator Linda Liukas’ idea of a computer-themed playground in cooperation with Näkymä Landscape Architects and Linda Liukas herself. Designing the playground also includes close cooperation with specialists from the City’s divisions. The playground’s design has also involved several current and future users of the playground.

The special play equipment will be supplied by the award-winning Danish play equipment manufacturer Monstrum, who won the competition held on the contract.

“We are extremely happy that we get to cooperate with an esteemed play equipment company like Monstrum on Helsinki’s first themed playground. Our aim is to realise a special place where both local and visiting children can learn through play,” says the Design Director of the City of Helsinki Hanna Harris, delighted.

Playground built in international environment

The playground in Ruoholahti is the first of the themed playgrounds the City of Helsinki has envisioned. This is a pilot project: the City also aims to realise various themed playgrounds in the future.

Ruoholahti was selected as the first site because of its location and accessibility. The computer theme is an excellent fit for the location: There are international IT companies in the Ruoholahti and Jätkäsaari districts around the playground, and there are also several multilingual daycare centres and schools close to the playground.

Playground closed during renovation

Playground Ruoholahti will be closed to the public throughout the renovation project. The construction in the playground will begin at the end of October, and it is planned to be completed in September 2024.

Even though the renovation work will take almost a year, it will not cause significant disturbances for the local properties or the people moving in the area. The work will start with the demolition of old equipment and structures, in addition to excavation. The excavation may occasionally make noise. The work will be carried out in the daytime on weekdays.

The contractor for the playground renovation project is Stara.

The existing playground was designed by Lars Liljefors in 1994, and it covers approximately 0.75 hectares.

The Urban Environment Committee approved the plan for the playground on 23 January 2023.

Playground on the map
Playground on the map