April 14, 2014

Peter Pearce Curved Space Diamond Structure, aka The Hakone Soap Bubble Castle



A couple of months of Throwback Thursdays ago Johnson Trading Gallery posted these photos to their Instagram. It's a wacked out biomorphic geodesic Habitrail of a jungle gym playground pod whatzit structure they bought on eBay. [And apparently flipped at Wright a few months later for $15,000. Nice hustle.]


The Curved Space Diamond Structure was designed by Peter Pearce, a systems-minded architect/engineer who ran with the idea of building a world full of nature-inspired kit-of-parts-based architecture. The Curved Space Diamond Structures, based on a diamond molecule, turned up at smarter playgrounds and museums in the 1980s, including the Brooklyn Children's Museum. But today the most prominent installation remaining has to be the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan, where a big-ass Diamond Structure is known as the "Soap Bubble Castle."

I want to mourn the homogenizing, litigious, maintenance-deferring forces that kept the Pearce's Curved Space Structures from taking over the playgrounds of the world. But frankly, it seems only slightly more effective as a play structure than Pearce's Biosphere 2 was as a self-contained ecosystem. I'd still put one in my backyard, though.

TBT Back in 2007 me and a Friend bought this school playground on eBay [johnson_trading's instagram via reference library]
Peter Pearce's "Curved Space Diamond Structure" [play-scapes.com]
Peter Jon Pearce Design portfolio site [pjpearcedesign]

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