Grip, Rise and Pass. “Children Playground Furniture”


Architectural Labratories in Osaka University held a workshop named MOK UP. The word Mok Up comes from deconstruction of Mock Up and Mokuzai (lumber/timber/wood). The project is all about wood structure. This project were done by architecture (design)student and civil engineering (esp.wood structure) design. They use manual way to calculate the structure.

The concept of this “playground furniture” is Grip it, Rise and Pass. Children like to play in outdoor space where there’s a huge space with playground furniture on it. Osaka University Architecture students want to make an interesting play furniture, and an unusual one. Usually children paly swing, slide and jungle gym in playground area. The idea came out from mixing these play equipment. “MOK UP” can be gripped, rised and passed.

The first impression when we see this design, we would think that this is really dangerous for children because this model has high point on one side and if children climb to that area, it’s possible to slipped and fall down. The designer has already checked and researched about furniture safety standard in Japan. It is written that Japanese’s children play furniture named Jungle Gym has more than 2,2m height. Every children allow to play with the playground furniture which has 2.3m height. The surface looks a bit dangerous because it has uneven/unflat part. The uneven surface comes from wood’s rotation. Each wood rotates until reach half of the wood height. It is measured that the different height on each surface considered safe for children (25.25cm) so that parents doesn’t need to worry about the safety system.

See each piece of the wood. You might think that the uneven surface will hurt the children because it has acute angle on each corner. The students had already considered about this so they did special treatment by blunting the wood’s corner.

Materials for one Playground furniture :

Wood (named Hinoki, a Japanese cypress)*

Wood screw size : 4.2mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm and 5mm.

Screw length : all 90mm except the 5mm screw. 5mm screw has 70mm length.

Wood size : actual size : 105mm x 105mm x 2700mm, but they divide it into 2 pieces, the size become :105mm x 52.5mm x 2700mm.

Amount of hinoki wood : 80 wooden sticks

Steel rood, diametre : 30mm

* This project use hinoki wood. This wood is kind of cypress that only grow in Japan. The wood of both the hinoki and POC is a lemon-scented, light-colored wood with a rich, straight grain, and is highly rot resistant. Hinoki wood used for building palace, temples, and shrine. This is wood from Emperor’s palace.(most prized wood)

The Construction :

Steel rod acts as the main construction of this furniture. Steel rod as the axis of timber screening.
Wood drilled in the middle to put the steel rod axis. Wood was constructed one by one and each rotated half of the wood’s height. After reach the actual height, timber is stopped by screw lock. Why hinoki wood? Because this is one of the best quality wood in Japan, which has excellent durability of tensile load. Also, the furniture is constructed by drained wood. Should be noted that when is dried, wood will be distorted, shrinks, and cracked. Wood need to be treated by antiseptic processing. There are 2 methods of wood treatment :

  1. painting
  2. pressuring injection (this is better for outdoor furniture)

to cover steel rod structure, wood furniture is covered by wood stick in each edge.

Look at the picture, you will see there’s a high point of the furniture. When this section was given a certain amount of load, the construction become unstable. That’s why we give additional foundation below the 3 points construction. The additional foundation made from solid concrete size : 300mm x 300mm, is placed in the ground.

credits : as tagged…

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and here’re random photos of me, Kishi san, and Misako san. 🙂

ok…that’s all,actually there’re some detail pics for the structure, but it’s printed on the paper,n I don’t have time to scan,huhu. Maybe later I’ll scan it. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Grip, Rise and Pass. “Children Playground Furniture”

  1. Great project! I was wondering if you could explain to me how the wood is connected to each other at the ends in order to stay in place. I can not see anything disclosing this on the outside of the construction.

    • Hi, btw the woods are connected by one steel rod in the axis of the timber. Wood is constructed one by one and each rotated half of the wood’s height and it is connected with nail on the edge. I have some details picture for the construction, if you need some, you can email me 🙂

  2. I see. I suspected that you had used nails, but could not see them on the pictures. Thank you soo much for answering!

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