Mimi Kirk is a contributing writer to CityLab covering education, youth, and aging. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Smithsonian.
The idea is to make finding a space to play ball in overcrowded Seoul a little easier.
In a city so dense there are two-month wait lists for tennis and basketball courts, a Seoul architecture firm has designed what it hopes is a solution: a foldable, transportable sports facility. Ji Hyun Park and his firm B.U.S. Architecture have come up with the “Undefined Playground.” Sides of the 12-foot-tall structure correspond to different games: soccer, tennis, basketball, and discus throw.
Other features, such as a hammock—for those who need a rest or perhaps the neighborhood bookworm—and a space that can be used as a ticket booth, snack bar, or sporting goods rental office are also built in.
When folded, players can access a small soccer goalpost, three basketball hoops, targets for the discus throw, a wall against which to hit a tennis ball, and the ticket booth/snack bar/rental office. When unfolded, a semicircle soccer field also appears, as does the space for setting up the hammock.
Park told Wired one of the ideas behind the design is to foster the kind of spontaneous play he remembers enjoying as a child—and that is now harder to do in the congested capital. “When I was young,” he said, “anywhere in the neighborhood would become our playground, as long as we had a ball.”