United States

Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park

Situated in downtown Tampa, the park plays host to a Modernist adventure playground designed by architect Richard Dattner. Opened in 1977, the municipal park is located along the Hillsborough River, adjacent to the University of Tampa campus and the residential neighborhood of Loury Park Central. Using grading techniques and a material palette reminiscent of his Adventure Playground in Central Park, Dattner exploited the pleasing simplicity of a circle’s geometry to create biomorphic landforms on the ground. The rising earth mounds are entirely functional, with integrated slides, viewing platforms, and indentations creating carved-out amphitheater seating and a stage. Constructed of turf, bricks, and concrete, the circular forms include subtle design features, such as small foot holds for climbing, offering opportunities for imaginative play. Kidney-shapes pattern the ground, delineating sandboxes for digging, planting areas for shade and color, and paved areas for park benches. Two tree-lined allées cross the park, connecting to the city’s internal greenway trail system.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

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