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27 Nov, 2023

JTRE London presses play on new urban installation

Juraj Marko MD of JTRE London and Nicole Gordon CEO of Better Bankside next to The Urban Playground

In collaboration Business Improvement District (BID) Better Bankside JTRE London installed a ‘playable’ Urban Playground sculpture outside Triptych Bankside. The initiative, which is part of Better Bankside’s wider, creative placemaking strategy, will be in situ for three months and host a programme of exclusive architecture and design talks and workshops. 

The Urban Playground which has been designed by architects McCloy + Muchemwa and fabricated by Design & Making, was originally featured in the City of London for London Festival of Architecture, but has had a playful and colourful makeover to ensure it brightens up the Bankside landscape this winter. The sculpture, which outwardly looks like a big blue and pink furry block, which has been carved and cut-open, has been constructed to naturally encourage organic play and interaction. Its form and structure deliberately inspire climbing and the exploration of is abstract cavern-like form, lends itself particularly to ‘hide and seek.’ Better Bankside has repurposed the sculpture from its previous, temporary installation to provide workers, Banksiders and tourists with a place to stop and rest, to meet, or engage in non-prescriptive play. 

Nicole Gordon, CEO of Better Bankside said; “The Urban Playground is one of our many, creative human-scale projects which are a critical part of our placemaking strategy for the area. These pockets of vibrant surprise offer a powerful way to maintain the dynamism and distinctiveness of Bankside’s identity. Bankside is London’s ‘Other Side,’ a unique place which celebrates otherness and rebellious fun. We hope this fun, bright pop-up, will bring a smile to people’s faces during the dark winter months and encourage all generations to take a moment to sit, ponder or play.” 

The Urban Playground will encourage both visitors and Banksiders to dwell outside of Triptych. It is a placemaking illustration of how streets and spaces can be punctuated with places of exchange and elements of interest – whether public art, places to sit or unusual planters. This is particularly important in the lesser-known areas of Bankside, placing markers within the area’s maze of historic streets and encouraging people to spend time outside of its landmark sites. 

JTRE London is committed to the local area and supporting the arts as part of successful placemaking, having previously launched Shape Art Weekend Bankside, a three-day celebration of live music, performances, talks and creative workshops taking place as part of a 3D immersive environment created by leading urban artist Jo Peel.

Juraj Marko, Joint MD for JTRE London, comments: “We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with Better Bankside to bring the innovative Urban Playground concept to the Bankside, an area rich in creativity. For over 25 years, creating successful places and supporting culture has been central to the ethos of JTRE in Europe and we are proud to continue this lineage in London with Triptych Bankside, working with the local community to further enhance this area.”