Atlas Public Schools Playground

DG2 Design was tasked with designing a playground for Atlas Elementary, a new school in downtown St. Louis, as part of their commitment to preparing students for a lifetime of exploration. Atlas Public Schools aims to educate the whole child through rigorous academics and real-world experiences. The playground is designed to encourage imagination, physical challenges, and free play.

Unlike traditional playground concepts, the playground features Berliner spatial nets, which stimulate cognitive processes in children and encourage decision-making in a playful way. The design balances safety with opportunities for children to push their boundaries and learn through play.

Located under the cover of a previously covered parking lot, the playground offers various play options, including two DNA Towers with climbing features and a slide, a Tri climbing tower with a tube slide, and a three-dimensional chess board, all on an accessible artificial turf surface.

This playground, along with the renovation project to adaptively reuse a previously vacant building, will meet the evolving needs of the school as it grows over the next five years. The growth strategy includes adding a new grade each year until the school reaches 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.