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The Importance of Shade in Recreation Spaces

Open air structures bring community together. They provide protective areas for gatherings, entertainment, and relaxing. They define a space and welcome visitors with a visual cue that announces, “something happens here.” 

Communities are looking for more unique and creative ways to make their site the go-to place for recreation and events. How do we attract people to our space? How do we get them to stay and enjoy our facilities longer? Whether you have a small park or an entire complex, there is one common factor – shade. 

Shade allows visitors to stay outside longer, protected from harsh weather and over exposure to sun, which increases the chances of skin damage. It keeps us cool and protects any equipment underneath from UV and weather damage. Shade is essential in recreation spaces and can be created through many different types of structures and materials. Here are a few projects that share how shade impact different community spaces.

Porter-Zeeland.jpg#asset:12657Zeeland East and Zeeland West high schools in are located next to each other. Because some students attend classes in both buildings, creating a walkway between the schools was necessary to protect the students from the elements as they transferred between classes. The walkway is 15’ x 750’ and incorporates each school logo which is viewable based on the direction you are walking.  

Poligon-Farmers-Market.png#asset:12676Outdoor farmer’s markets are on the rise. Cities like Sacramento are looking for ways to create new spaces that bring their community together, promote entertainment, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. North Natomas Farmer’s Market’s permanent structure allows vendors to spend more time selling their product without the hassle of setting up and taking down tents.

Poligon-Amp-sm.jpg#asset:12677Konkel Park Ampitheater in Greenfield, WI features a trapezoidal floor plan and truncated barrel shape design. The eye-catching angles helps project sound making it ideal for a stage. Ampitheaters are a great way to bring communities together and can also generate revenue through ticketed events and activities.


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