Playground completed in segregated Roma settlement
This Autumn Volunteer Studio completed the construction of a children’s playground in the Roma settlement of Tarlungeni, Brasov County, Romania. The project, lead by University of Sheffield graduates Huan Rimington and Hannah Martin, was built by a team of 34 students.
The ground breaking project supported the Roma community’s leadership of the playgrounds development. The design was the product of discussions, collages and modelling with children and parents.
The scheme creates a highly stimulating, but safe space for children who are far more independent and adventurous than their British counterparts. The playground’s composition reflects the community’s preference for distinct forms over more abstract structures.
The playground’s creation was a high risk; it was feared it was not possible for a communal facility to exist in a Roma village. However our experience highlights the potential of engaging with an otherwise excluded group; the playground has become part of the settlement and a cornerstone for a growing sense of pride and hope.
The playground is the culmination of Tarlungeni Open Space Project, an initiative working with residents to lead settlement improvements. Huan and Hannah founded the project and charity Volunteer Studio as an alternative to ‘year in practice’ placements. The team worked in collaboration with Romania charity FAST (www.fastcharity.ro), secured over £24000 in grant funding and recruited volunteers from Sheffield, Manchester, Brighton, Nottingham and Middlesex Universities.
+ Visit http://tarlungeni.tumblr.com/ for more images.