With a reputation for slyness in folklore stories told around the world, foxes are also known as playful creatures. The gray foxes that live in Colorado’s foothills and canyons are a nearly perfect inspiration for a playground on the rooftop of the new Thrive Housing Development complex in Denver, Colorado.
Capturing a tender moment of curiosity between a fox cub and a butterfly, the Thrive Fox playground invites children to share in the discoveries of new friendships and explorations. There are many to be had in this wonderful space! The fox sculpture is nearly 30 feet tall. It encompasses a variety of accessible play features including a series of rubberized nets and platforms to reach its top, a chalkboard and a large movable puzzle, lookout portals, climbing holds, and a musical percussion wall where multi-tonal sounds can be produced from a wood marimba.
While a slide, hammocks, and a springy platform shaped like a paw print keep younger visitors well-occupied, the fox sculpture also welcomes adults into the midst of the play with a seating bench framing the animal’s tail. This feature invites parents and guardians to both partake in play and spend time together as they settle into their new homes.
The design results from collaborative work between Earthscape, Flow Design Collaborative, Shop Works Architecture, and Denver Housing Authority that continues the effort to create bespoke play spaces across the city.