Salvation Army College for Officer Training Playground

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

Changing demographics at the Salvation Army's College for Officer Training have led to an increase in students with young families on campus. The new playground provides children with a safe play area that supports both passive and active recreation activities. The project is defined on the campus side by a short perforated metal fence, precast concrete benches, butterfly garden, and an interactive water feature. The perimeter wall on the street side is a playful composition of perforated metal screens, masonry walls, and landscape areas that creates a new identity for the neighborhood. The masonry wall has punched glazed openings at varied elevations that allows children of different sizes to peek out into the neighborhood and establishes a human scale. The butterfly garden is landscaped with plants that attract butterflies and birds adding a natural element to the children's daily experience. The fountain adds a source of water to the play experience and provides a cool respite during the summer months. Water jets are animated creating a playful pattern of sound and reflection when children are present. The new playground brings a thoughtful approach to play by supporting multiple forms of recreation with a delightful composition of natural and built elements.

Architect of record

Paul Harding
Harding Partners
224 South Michigan Ave, Suite 245
Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Phone: 312-922-2600
Fax: 312-922-8222


Christopher Barrett
Christopher Barrett Photographer
3305 Wisconsin Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402, USA
Phone: 708-317-5700
Fax: 708-317-5704