The marine-themed Glazer Family Playground at the St. Pete Pier™ is an exciting and whimsical playscape that ties into the context of the pier and nearby coastal creatures. The design evolved through a collaboration with W Architecture and the City of St. Petersburg and sets the stage for an immersive shoreline narrative.
The new pier district is over 3,000 feet (almost 1km) in length and has been in development since 2014. The Pier features a variety of interactive experiences and programs, incredible views and is a true destination for Greater Tampa Bay residents and visitors. The playground is situated mid-way along the pier between the Spa Beach Pavilion and the Pier Plaza and Tilted Lawn.
The playground theme reflects the context of the pier and nearby coastal creatures – it started with the question: “What would newly hatched baby sea turtles see as they move from sand-to-sea?”
The story begins in the junior play area, which represents the beach. An overturned sand bucket left by a beach-goer lies beside a curious starfish; a nearby mound with a hill slide and climbing log “drift wood” is a turtle’s nest from which baby turtles are making their way to the water.
Follow the turtles into the senior area where the shoreline transitions into deeper waters. An osprey’s nest log climber is perched by the water’s edge and overlooked by a lifeguard tower on a hill. Further into the deep, an immense kraken swirls around a multilevel seaweed tower and a sunken shipwreck.
A system of paths and gathering spaces designed in collaboration with W Architecture links these spaces together, creating a hub of activity for visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy. The Glazer Family playground at the St. Pete Pier™ is a reflection of the City in concept and design intent, and the focus on natural and non-prescriptive play engages kids (and adults!) in a unique and creative way as part of this incredible new placemaking development.