Simple improvements - making use of fallen trees during summerstorm - resulting in

more fantasy play, 2 sporting fields, less dominance by football more space for differentiated play

Other part of then playground has been upgraded by up-cycling materials, see pics here

Treetrunks from the summerstorm of 2015 : climbing, balancing, fantasy and jumping object. 

As an architect & teacher I do NOT know what children want...children know it themselves.

During the participation sessions children enriched me with their ideas how to create a greener and nicer schoolyard.

More places to hide ~ More colourful and nicely smelling flowers  ~ More secret paths ~ More seating places ~ More different games

The schoolyard is linked to a monumental schoolbuilding belonging to the open-air school-movement from the 1930's.

In my design I have integrated the children's wishes with the beauty of the schoolbuilding: 

The brick vertical columns on the facade (which support the enormous open glass faces) are horizontally continued on the schoolyard strengthening the relation building-yard.           The original planters and seats are being brought back, an open-air class is linked to the old vision of the school. 

In the design the urban area is being overtaken by two enlarged green areas in which children are challenged to discover, to mess about, to climb and jump, to roll on the grass, to pretend roleplay on the platforms between the hazelnut bushes, to smell and feel different plants in the outdoor class, and to hide within the secret paths between the bamboobushes.

The two green areas are linked by a playful hopping and balancing path crossing the tiled yard.


Wonderful new project in Amsterdam. De Kaap (The cape) is a new building in which childcare and a primary school will form a safe haven for children from 0-12 years old, from 7-7 o'clock. In Eastern Amsterdam.

i am very happy to design the new enclosed schoolyard, in order to give all the 'De Kaap' children a diverse, challenging, green and safe playground. 

The process includes research, strong participation with children, teachers and with the surrounding neighbours. There will be intensive communication with the municipality experts to ensure a 'rainproof', natural and active playground. January and February 2017. PARTICIPATION SESSION with kids was great!



Enjoying thoroughly to design 3 green schoolyards in Amsterdam Noord, all completely different. The improvements are based on re-use of existing materials, de-paving the play area, integration of greenery and natural play. For me the diversity of play is a central aspect, ensuring joy for all different types of children!

Just a few design-teasers in Dutch: Plukstraten, struinroutes, modderkeukens, springplatforms, voel- en geurbakken, wuivende grassen,  hazelaar verstop bosjes,

vlindertuin, regenpijp naar regentegels naar plantvak, klauterparcours, buitenklassen, wilgenjungle, zen-keien, boomvlonders ....



Creation of the playing-plan for the Frans Hals area, including the design of 2 playgrounds, and the design of special pavings to distinguish the playing trottoirs in the area.

In order to create a good new design for this beautiful green playground amidst Amsterdam dwellings, I have had participation session with surrounding neighbours. THe challenge is to guard the qualities of the playground for the youngest children (and their parents!) combining it with the wishes of older children and community members. 

The sketch design will be presented June 2018.

yes, also in the well to do neighborhood of Heemstede, The Netherlands, people co-create by up-cycling materials...

For 5 left over corners at the schoolyard of De Icarus school, I designed simple elements inviting children into fantasy- and construction play, making use of only recycled materials.

On one Saturday, together with 12 volunteers and one artist we transformed 5 small corners, into a vehicle (bus, plane?), a factory, a house (stage?), a forest (fort? prison?), and an island (roundabout? ship?)

Click here to see the process and the result

In partnership with Takween integrated development office / Tadamun., we have designed a public meet&play area in Masaken Othman, an area in 6th of October in which many Syrian refugees live. The project aims to increase level of peaceful co-existence, integration and mutual acceptation between the local host community and the Syrian refugees in Masaken Othman area through engaging members of these communities in the planning, design and implementation of public space improvements, to create safe and stimulating outdoor area for gathering and playing that is inviting and accessible for all – especially women and children, regardless of their nationality.

Part of the playground - the tyre elements  - have been constructed in a workshop in December, with adults and children from the community and from other areas of Cairo.

The playground has been opened January 2015.



Commissioned by UNwomen Safe Cities project, I consulted Takween (office for integrated community development) to improve and re-design the schoolyard of the public school in Izbet el Haggana. Issues tackled: making use of the area, designing a schoolyard with low budget play elements, in which hundreds of children can play during their break, ensuring safe and challenging play areas for girls as well for boys without completely separating them? The schoolyard needed to include a large semi public footballfield, and had a minimal budget. We therefore have made included the banks surrounding the schoolyard to optimize the playable area.


External consultant for UNHCR project 'a schoolyard for all' Gamassa, Egypt, August - Sept. 2014

As a specialized design consultant I taught the participants & architects the basics of 'design for play': the theory of play behaviour, how to design FOR AND WITH children, examples and safety aspects. During co-design sessions the participants have designed the schoolyard and elements. I was asked to give extended feed-back on their designs, safety checks, alternative solutions and possible improvements to improve their results. The project has been finished, the report can be read here. Some pictures of the project can be seen here