Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Outside the Box, Tali Buchler, Zichron Yaakov, Israel, 2011

Tali Buchler (with the help of family and friends) designed and constructed this amazing indoor playscape and modular furniture system for the community center in Zichron Yaakov, Israel that offers more scope for imagination than projects many times its budget and scale! 
The center's limited timescale (a 3 week deadline!) and budget led her to think about simple forms and materials that would allow both children and adults to express their creativity; while waiting around for classes to start or end, they can build with the oversized blocks or draw images on the pixel cork wall.

The building blocks are made from discarded cardboard and tape, designed as a modular system of interlocking cubical shapes whose dimensions and proportions of the elements are appropriate either for play or for sitting. A stage is constructed of reused shipping wooden pallets, creating 2 elongated rectangles that can be placed side by side to create a square or a long rectangle, to change the level of the floor in a way that can be used for performance or simply to define a play area.

The cork pixel wall, which refers to the local wine industry, is a 5 meter long by 2 meter tall plywood panel, with 4000 holes that can be filled with colored wine cork caps to create a pixel image.  Inserting the corks into the holes is a good simple motor skill exercise for small children.

The living room uses a series of cardboard sofas upholstered with colorful fabric to create a sitting space.  Each seat is made of 2 "L" shapes nesting; one "L" creates the arm while the other forms the back.  Since the sofas are lightweight, they are often used for play along with the blocks.

I'm currently thinking alot about interior spaces for children as we define the 'children's house' for my church's new building, and I find this incredibly inspirational...may need to include space for a cork wall.  Beautifully done, Tali!

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