Ikuna Nature resort Natternbach/Austria
A unique water playground
Free play with the elements
On the extensive grounds of the private property Ikuna - the name was adopted in reference to the former leisure park with Indian playground - a unique water playground was created in 2021 in close cooperation between the architect, the owner and Richter Spielgeräte. The objective was to integrate the water play equipment into the given environment and to design the play world in such a way that as many children as possible can interact at the same time.
The playground is divided into different areas - watercourse, gravel pit, sand and mud area, mill village and water forest - which are connected by an accessible circular path. The watercourse symbolises nature as a whole, while the gravel pit symbolises human intervention. This metaphor goes back to the client's wish to create a nature resort that does without electronics as much as possible and invites children and young people to play freely with the elements. The main connection between the watercourse and the gravel pit is an inclusive sand play platform specially designed for wheelchair users. In the sand and mud area with its terraced A-squares, the main attraction is the Archimedes' screw, in addition to the large nautilus snail, the scoop fountain and the large excavator. At 5.5 metres long, it is the longest screw Richter ever constructed. In the mill village, the little ones get their money's worth and can immerse themselves in role play to their heart's content on the mill and paddle wheels as well as the various dam and weir elements. The water forest with its slender high palisades was also designed especially for this project. Thanks to a built-in automatic system, no pumping power is needed here to spray water; instead, the water falls from above at predefined intervals, as if from a fountain. In addition to the issues of inclusion, suitability for all age groups and integration of existing trees and natural stones, an important aspect of the planning was the possibility for parents or other accompanying persons to have nice seats everywhere from where they can watch the children immersed in play in peace and quiet.