Five Fields Play Structure

Architect: FR|SCH Projects in collaboration with Matter Design

Owner: Five Fields Inc.

Location: Lexington, MA

Category: Up to $150,000 in construction costs (category one)

As a landscape for exploration, shunning function and standard, in favor of liberation, the structure cultivates imagination through play while supporting inventiveness through its unfolding, discoverable spaces.



Five Fields Play Structure has no purpose and that is how it is intended to be. It is a landscape for exploration, shunning standard, in favor of liberation. It encourages inventiveness through its unfolding, discoverable spaces. Tailored to child size, but accessible to adults, it invites the older user to reminisce, and rediscover.

The act of play is indeterminate liberation and irresolution. So how does one design for childish experimentation? The structure is created with the hope to release users from specified, directive use. The expectation is that all users will inscribe their individual, creative means of expression through the space.

"Very inventive elaboration of a single material creating many unique types of space.  The incorporation of color helps establish hierarchy within the otherwise singular structure. Embodies the spirit of the small project very well."  ~ Jury Comment

A diverse body of elements engage the senses and augment the experience. Smaller children crawl, while larger ones climb, to reach discoverable spaces. Doors and stairs exist, but not as expected. Movement through the playscape culminates in dead ends—vistas of discovery that look out onto the landscape.

Additional information

Graphic Designer: Johanna Lobdell


Carolyn Adams, AIA (Chair), Carolyn Adams Architecture PLLC, Kirkland, Washington

Michael Antenora, AIA, Antenora Architects LLP, Austin, Texas  

Steve Kordalski, AIA, Kordalski Architects Inc., Cleveland, Ohio

Brandon Frazier Pace, AIA, Sanders Pace Architecture LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee

Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA, Merge Architects, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Image credits


Brandon Clifford


Brandon Clifford


Brandon Clifford


Brandon Clifford


Brandon Clifford