November 5, 2010
When designing play areas in Alaska (and any ‘northern climate’), the winter months should always be an important discussion. We have a wide variety of climate areas, so winter in the Interior of Alaska could be frigid cold (-40 or colder) with not that much snow, in Southeast it could be wet and heavy snow with freezing rain, or in Southcentral we have the potential to experience both, but without the extremes. In the ‘climate unfairness’ of recess for Alaskan school children, their school year is composed of winter plus some shoulder season on each side… so for the sake of our schools, designing for winter is a necessity.
This post isn’t so much about our opinions on good winter design… but showing some images of the more celebratory ways we embrace the season. We’ll start with some from the 2009 Fairbanks International Ice Art Championships. They have some great areas with fun stuff for kids… and adults. This kind of play installation definitely requires a higher level of work to achieve… in addition to a source of amazingly clear ice. If you’re in Alaska at the right time of year, this should be at the top of your list (Ice Alaska).