Client: Cheekwood Art & Gardens
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Completion: Unbuilt (2004 Competition Entry)
TOPO is a playhouse designed for Cheekwood’s annual Summer Outdoor Exhibit Competition, that year’s theme being Playhouses & Forts. TOPO intended to transform existing contours of Cheekwood’s rolling landscape by creating a new topography of play for children. The strategy was simple – create multiple slides of varying heights and lengths and combine them into a single expression of form and space.
Posts form the main structure of the playhouse imitating the verticality of the surrounding wooded areas. The inclined planes are thought of as “slices of land” and have a three-fold purpose: create a new outcropping in the landscape, serve as enclosure and refuge, and provide a dynamic play environment. The rungs between the posts act as a semi-porous enclosure, while providing an alternative path to the new landscape above.