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Cidália F. Silva

Intervention Location


(de)standardization of playgrounds: a reading of the legislation applied in the territory of Pevidém

Cláudia Pando

This investigation is based on the recognition of the legal requirements associated to playgrounds, accompanied by the analysis of specific cases in Pevidém. This simultaneity, between the analysis of the particular legislation and the actual design of playground spaces aims to transpose into the disciplinary discourse of architecture the interference of the legal articulate over the design options. However, if the legal discourse is often abstract, in the view of its universal application and whose emphasis is exclusively on safety conditions, architecture will be responsible for converting it into a programmatic and projectual definition in order to enhance the spatial qualification of these spaces and their opportunity as learning and relationship places. Therefore, the investigation aims to raise awareness regarding the standardization of playgrounds, resulting from the bureaucratic application of the law, defining a critical discourse that clarifies the possible reasons for this phenomenon.

In this sense, the investigation implies the review of the legal instruments (Instituto Português da Qualidade and the Diário da República Eletrónico), and the analysis of particular cases is carried out through field visits complemented by data collection (online platforms of Guimarães and Arquivo Alfredo Pimenta). The territory under study includes the 12 playgrounds of the parishes corresponding to the Agrupamento de Escolas de Pevidém, Candoso S. Martinho, Gondar, Selho S. Cristóvão, Selho S. Jorge and Serzedelo.

The investigation is organized in two volumes, the first being a reflection of the law application to the playgrounds, while the second is a graphic catalog with the analysis of the playgrounds

under study.

The Volume I is organized by different scales: the Territorial Scale (where the main subject is the playgrounds context); the Global Scale (the existing legislation on playgrounds); the Specific Scale (which explores the playgrounds); and the Human Scale (exploring issues related to the presence of the physical barrier, accessibility, safety and functional organization of the case studies). On the other hand, Volume II presents the study of the characteristics and specificities of the selected playgrounds, through graphic catalog with a timeline of the spaces transformation, and relating it with legal changes.

It is obvious that the extreme concern with the safety of children in the playground is inversely proportional to the design investment in the playground area and its relationship with the surroundings. It is essential to consider the importance of these, aiming to fulfill their original goal.