26. October 2017

Be’er She­va Riv­er Park, Israel

Be’er-Sheva in south­ern Israel is one of the country’s largest cities. It is con­sid­ered by many to be the “Cap­i­tal of the Negev,” which it bor­ders on. As a so-called “devel­op­ing city,” Be’er-Sheva has been turn­ing into a reli­gious cen­ter and has also become an impor­tant Israeli metrop­o­lis over recent decades.

In order to main­tain the city’s attrac­tive­ness for its 200,000 inhab­i­tants, it is cru­cial to cre­ate attrac­tive facil­i­ties for young fam­i­lies. In addi­tion to emerg­ing res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods, the grow­ing indus­tri­al sec­tor and increas­ing tourism, new local parks have been estab­lished in the last few years. One of these is Be’er-Sheva Riv­er Park. Cov­er­ing an expanse of sev­er­al square miles, the large Riv­er Park fol­lows the course of Nahal Be’er-Sheva, a large riverbed that does not car­ry any water dur­ing the dry sea­son.

As of June 2017, the park boasts a new centerpiece: a massive playground consisting of a vast climbing landscape made up of equipment provided by Berliner Seilfabrik.

Seven differently equipped climbing towers are evenly distributed over an area of approx. 10,765-ft.² They serve as the foundation pillars of this climbing paradise. The towers are connected with net bridges that are up to 20 feet in length. Some of the bamboo-clad towers are more than 26 feet high, giving them the appearance of a tree house village thanks to their natural design.

Besides its remarkable size and complexity, another special feature of the playground is its density of climbing structures and the way these are connected. Any “gaps” have been filled using additional exciting equipment. Climbing mats, ladders, nets and climbing ropes add many more options for climbing and playing, making the playground even more versatile. A neighboring lower rope course for children who are not quite ready to make their way up to the “treetops” offers additional variety and an exciting challenge for smaller children.

In addition, six long, slightly twisted or even spiralling slides have been attached to the climbing towers. Whizzing down one of these slides is the perfect reward to every bold climber! The slides for this project were supplied by Israeli partner Games & Sports and could be easily attached to the towers thanks to Berliner Seilfabrik’s modular system.

Around the climbing structures, numerous additional attractions such as seesaws and carousels complete the playground’s range of activities in an impressive fashion.

The new climbing landscape has been designed in cooperation with Games & Sports Head of Design, Galina Man, and the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Meirav Moshka, with the planners at Berlin’s Creative Centers. Roei Shabtay, Executive Assistant to the CEO at Games & Sports, is more than happy with the result. In particular, he loves how “every area offers a different activity”.

Another specialty of the playground is its distinctive canopy. The entire climbing structure is protected by multiple shade sails arranged in a star-shaped pattern. As severe dust storms can be quite a frequent occurrence in the Be’er-Sheva region, these sails give not only shade, but also protect the playground structures and their users from the bothersome fine grains of sand. Several poles were installed to attach the canopy.

Roei Shabtay explains, “We had to pour a joint foundation to be able to anchor this great number of poles in the ground. The poles for the playground equipment and the poles for the shade sails share one foundation.” Despite the large amount of poles in one place, the designers managed to observe the necessary clearance distance, thus ensuring maximum safety for the children.