7 Cool, Creative Playgrounds

Kids crawl into the enormous play net—and parents wonder whether they'll ever see them again

Spot Cool Stuff’s inner child is still very active. Readers have probably noticed that from all our reviews of cool toys and family travel destinations that may appeal equally to adults and kids. So no wonder that we are also fans of playgrounds.

The world is, thankfully, full of creative, well-conceived plays for kids to safely play. Here’s a look at seven of our favorites:

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The Building of 65 Shipping Containers

What can you make with 65 old, used shipping containers? How about a huge building with an amphitheater, offices and a sustainable development educational center.

Spot Cool Stuff has previously reported on creative shipping container architecture. We’ve had dinner with a prominent shipping container architect who designed Rhode Island’s Box Office. Yet the scope of using 65 shipping containers for such a multi-use structure surprised even us.

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The Backyard OfficePOD

If you have a backyard you can have a private office. So says OfficePod, a British company that manufactures eponymous pre-fabricated one-room office structures.

When designing their OfficePod the company had four goals for the product:

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Jordan’s New, Ancient Eco-Resort
spot cool stuff DESIGN

With enough money, modern technology and piped-in water anyone can build a luxury resort in the middle of a desert. (Exhibit #1: Las Vegas.) But building a luxury resort in the middle of the desert in a completely environmentally sustainable way—that’s a challenge. Yet Oppenheim, an architecture firm based in (of all places) the desert-deprived state of Florida, managed exactly that with their design for an eco-resort in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert.

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The Shipping Container Box Office

Since we published our review of 5 cool shipping container buildings, many more have been built. One of those: The Box Office in Providence, Rhode Island USA.

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3 Unusual, Recycled Roofing Materials

Covering a typical house recycles between 600 and 1,000 car and truck tires

Nearly any solid object could be used to construct a roof. Choosing roofing material that’s durable—and protects what’s underneath—is the tricky part. Here’s a review of three unusual objects that creative designers have used for their home roofs:

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The Glacier Discovery Walk
spot cool stuff DESIGN

Spot Cool Stuff has mixed feelings about building grandiose tourist infrastructure like the Langkawi Sky Bridge and the Grand Canyon Skywalk. We want to keep natural spaces natural. Yet some of the architecture that encroaches upon nature is fantastically cool.

So it is (sort of—we’ll get to that part soon) with the proposed Glacier Discovery Walk in Canada’s Jasper National Park near Banff.

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Animated Flying House from Up Built In Real Life
spot cool stuff DESIGN

There’s something inherently cool about taking a structure conceived for an animated movie or TV show and building it for real.

Spot Cool Stuff regulars may remember our piece on the the real life Simpsons house constructed in Nevada. Building an accurate rendition of that was difficult enough—and it was a regular suburban dwelling. Imagine the challenge of building the house featured in the Pixar hit movie Up. That house was attached to balloons and was able to fly!

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