Springboard Design


The Waterplay Environment is a permanent, interactive play environment designed for the new, expanded Children’s Museum Pittsburgh. Springboard’s Waterplay Environment is a 4,000 sf exhibit space located on the top floor of the museum’s new ‘Lantern’ wing.

Springboard’s concept for Waterplay was based upon a research into the characteristics of ‘flow.’ We designed the environment to reinforce the essential nature of water in feeling and in details. To achieve this goal, we developed a visually flowing environment that is defined by a series of translucent and opaque ‘waves’ that transmit visual and aural water experiences to visitors.

The two major features of the space are a 50-foot long fiberglass ‘River’ where children can float self-made boats from a kit of parts, and a network of ‘Intriguing Pipes’ where children can connect plastic pipes and fittings to play with water flow. The ‘River’ includes locks and dams, self-generated whirlpools, and wind-producing fans.

The design also includes a dressing and drying area where children can don yellow slickers and boots, get wet, and dry off via a bank of automatic hand dryers.

The project has been presented in exhibitions at the National Academy of Design in New York City.

primary photography by Stan Ries