”We focused on creating a space with a great variety of functions that encourage both the young and the old to move their body and activate their creativity.”
Rågsved Activity Park
A sense of safety arises through dialogue and mutual understanding. Stockholm wanted to improve social cohesion across age, gender, and ethnicity by building a new gathering point for the inhabitants of Rågsved in a park area from the 60s-70s without any explicit programing. We focused on creating a space with a great variety of functions that encourage both the young and the old to move their body and activate their creativity.
The spine of the park is the orange running track with the traditional 100 m. sprint as well as playful and challenging topographies. The sides of the track are dotted with climbing walls, playgrounds, trampolines, a field for playing boules and more. The park also offers calmer types of recreation with tables, benches, and a barbecue area. One can get an overview of and new perspective on the park from a number of elevated platforms. The broad variety of functions makes the park a meeting place for many different kinds of people – it has become a social gathering point for children, teenagers and adults in Rågsved.
The park is a flexible structure that can be expanded and adjusted according to the needs and possibilities in the area. An ongoing dialogue with the residents has from the onset been a central planning tool to help bring the park new functions and adjust it to the city’s development. So far Kragh&Berglund have expanded the park with a dance court designed for the city’s young women and girls; a group that is not very visible in the public space otherwise.
The sports park gathers several possible activities around an internal path that stretches from Rågsved School in the north-western corner to the area’s other important center by Kumlagatan in the south-eastern corner. The path invites passers-by onto the field by connecting to the two centers and by making the field’s functions easily accessible.
The area that used to be a big field of gravel is now a park functioning all around the clock and transforms the part of Rågsved that was once considered unsafe to a lively meeting place all year around. Different activities targeting different groups take place side-by-side on the field, providing different generations and user groups with an opportunity to meet and interact. These activities all encourage play and exercise. In the western part of the field, the park’s active functions can be found, as well as the artificial lawn and the parkour obstacle course. This is also where the functions attached to the school’s physical education classes, such as the long jump lane and the running field, are located. North of the artificial lawn, a long sitting area is located across from the artificial lawn and the area for athletics and parkour.
In the eastern part of the park, there is an area for playing pétanque, a playground designed for disabled children, and a barbecue area. The activity square is open and accessible to everyone – children and young adults, senior citizens, and families with children alike. By virtue of being located next to Rågsved School, the field encourages the students to use the activities in their education and their free time.
The main street is made of rubber flooring and the traditional running tracks merge with the rest of the park in a way that encourages play and movement on the surface. It is also possible to sit under the trees planted along the edge. The functions of the activity square are adjustable and may be adapted to the demands and desires arising in Rågsved. Kragh&Berglund have already expanded the park with a dance practice field; an idea that arose in our dialogue with the young women in the area.