A wondrous child’s dream of wood and water

Kids are seen frolicking in the water fountain-turned-playground

A historic fountain in Loreto Square, Mexico city, is transformed into a pop-up playground for the locals. The fountain is surrounded by a plywood structure which envelopes the concrete element.

The playground features two separate elevations shaped like waves around the round fountain. A web of ropes stretches from and across the inward facing plywood panels, serving as a kind of creative transition into the fountain.

Entitled ‘AROS’ by young mexico city-based studio PALMA, it was also the winning proposal for the ‘Urban Toys’ competition, commissioned by Laboratorio Para La Ciudad and the Mexico City government with the aim of ‘developing a sort of temporary playground in the historical center of the city, specifically in loreto square.’


With the structure placed within the iconic plaza fountain, PALMA took full advantage of the spontaneous play that exists already and refined it. The architects said that they avoided interrupting the everyday flow of people on the surrounding square. By using the elements of the square that already exist, such as benches,  they created a safe and visible environment for children to explore freely.



The design is built with engaging children in different types of play in mind. The two circular ramps, the water, and the net are intended to produce moments of moderate risk, which encourage social interaction and opening up many possibilities in creating real or imaginary play.


The playground of a fountain is quick to capture the hearts of pedestrians who lounge in the sun and jump into the water. Children certainly cannot resist.

All images are credited to Onnis Luque