Students Build Play Structure for Neighborhood Park

piles of pastel painted tires
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
“Pastel Pile” turns upcycled tires into playground fun.

A group of architecture students under the direction of Associate Professor of Architecture Marc Manack recently designed and installed a play structure for the Coulwood Hills Neighborhood Park in northwest Charlotte.

The "Pastel Pile” was made from upcycled tires, paint, and mulch from fallen trees (provided by Mecklenburg County). Materials were funded by a public grant obtained by the Coulwood Community Council. “Pastel Pile” is a pilot project of a master plan designed by SILO, Manack’s design firm, and functions as both a playground climbing structure and as informal seating for a community gathering space.

playground site with materials for new structure

“We hope it will act as a catalyst to stimulate further grant proposals and fund raising to bring awareness to a larger revitalization of the park,” said Manack.

Students in Manack’s Fall 2021 class, “Good Fast Cheap,” designed and prototyped the structure: Grant Cascone, Megan Fowler, Erin Goedde, Nicole Kythas, Mackenzie Lail, Hailey Miller, and Cam Norris.

The fabrication and installation took place this spring, with help from Robby Sachs of the Storrs FabLab and students Sage Duffey, Erin Goedde, Sierra Grant, Hannah Guffey, Hailey Miller, Cam Norris, Shea Sullivan, and Garrett West.

This is not the first community structure built through Manack’s “Good Fast Cheap” course. In the fall of 2019, students in the class designed and built “The People’s Porch” in west Charlotte.