The Fisheries and Maritime Museum

Esbjerg, Denmark

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Perhaps two ships have stranded on a small island with a lighthouse and a small lighthouse keeper’s house? Perhaps they have been lured in there by the people living on the island?

Perhaps a naval battle is in progress? Or perhaps pirates are assaulting the merchant fleet? The scene has been set, and only the children can determine what is really going on. The churning waters are encircled by the yellow rubber sand dunes and the boat bridge. This design offers great accessibility for wheelchair users, while at the same time it challenges the children’s bike riding skills. The sand dunes offer a fun ride around the playground, going up and down large and small hills. You need to tread onto a fine balance to avoid stepping into the water.


he objective of the playground is to provide fun for all children, also children with motor and other challenges. Some of the elements are wild and difficult to participate in, whereas others are accessible for children with handicaps.
The bird’s nest swing, the roundabout, the sandbox, the boat bridge and the lighthouse keeper’s house are handicap-friendly, and wheelchair users can access the slide on the boat bridge and the ropeway.
The playground was built in two stages.

The 40 meters long boat bridge ends by the lighthouse at a point 2.8 meters above ground. The boat bridge has been dimensioned according to the Danish building regulations on platforms in the public domain as well as the standard for playgrounds. This provides physically handicapped persons access to the slide. The lighthouse is combined with a lighthouse keeper’s house with a small kitchen. The lighthouse has stairs to the level of three meters (with access to the boat bridge) and from there further up. From the top floor, the express double-slide begins at approximately 4.5 meters above the ground. It is quite steep (within the frame of the standard applied), offering a challenge to motorically well developed children.
All surfaces on the ships are inclined and fitted with climbing grips and robes, so that you can climb everywhere. No surface is boring. Each ship has a lifeboat attached to be pulled back and forth by a rope. The speed is lowered by a spring in a closed system, protecting the children against jamming dangers.

Morten Hahn-Pedersen, director Fisheries and Maritime Museum:

“Fisheries and Maritime Museum has installed a playground, which not only animates our many guests but also activates the fantasy of the children.
MONSTRUM’s play universe communicates precisely what is one of Fisheries and Maritime Museum’s core story: play and cognition. When guests have viewed our maritime exhibition it translates into play in our maritime playground. It’s learning at an advanced and fun level.”

The tail of the whale is covered by climbing gear. It is the main climbing challenge on the playground. The upper side of the whale tail can be climbed by most children, whereas the lower side is more difficult.
The raft is mounted on springs, functioning as a sort of seesaw allowing you to feel the moving sea.
The swing is a bird’s nest type swing with room for a group of children at the same time as well as children with any kind of handicap.
The roundabout is shaped like a large compass rose, forming a large turntable on which the children can run and stand. It is also suitable for handicapped. The entire playground is connected by a balancing beam allowing the children to move from one play to another without being eaten by the sharks. Near the eating area, somewhat away from the big playground, there is a treasure chest with gold bars on the bottom and a small slide for the youngest children. Here, a small ship buried in the playground sand is also found.

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