Riverdale Country School, established in 1907, is located on two wooded campuses in the Bronx. MNLA has been engaged in planning and design services at both campuses since 1994.
An outdoor playground was designed for children attending pre-kindergarten through fifth grade at the school's River Campus. The playground is sited to preserve mature canopy trees and take advantage of the seasonal garden, which acts as a backdrop to the large sandbox and equipment area designed for the youngest children. The playground sits at the toe of a slope and was designed to fit into the existing natural environment of Riverdale. Wooden roofs and decking blend well with the timber curbs and wood fiber safety surfacing.
Throughout the design process, the program development emphasized safety, imaginative play, and the development of specific motor skills for each age group. Play areas for three targeted skill levels are linked with the roofed clubhouse. Equipment for the older children was selected to build upper body strength and provide new outdoor play challenges. Composite play structures were custom designed by age group, and axonometric drawings of the units were presented to the faculty prior to preparation of final design drawings.