Domino Park

Brooklyn, NY USA

NY - Domino Park

Video features the Domino Park playground inspired by artist Mark Reigelman’s interpretation of the historic Domino Sugar Factory, Landscape Structures designed it into playable reality. An intricate web of belting, nets and climbers lets kids scramble from the sugar shack up to the masher tower and over to the centrifuge. Stainless-steel slides look just like industrial pipes. Casts of original factory valves are scattered throughout. And some of the wood was reclaimed from the original sugar shack, giving kids a tactile connection to history.

[video: scene begins with a view of the Domino Park signage. Camera switches to an overhead view of the Domino Park sugar factory inspired play structure.]

On-Screen text: The Domino Park Playground

[video: scene switches to full elevated view of the park situated alongside the East River with a bridge in background of the scene.]

On-Screen text: Situated along the east river.

[video: scene switches to an elevated view of two of the three play structures. Two stainless steel slides protruding from upper decks and upper portion of the silo shaped play structures.]

On-screen text: sits on the former site of the 150-year-old Domino Sugar Refinery.

[video: scene switches to view of a wooden house representing the sugar cane cabin built upon stilts connected to the silo with a stainless-steel crawl tunnel. The house is made of reclaimed wood from the original Domino factory.]

[video: scene switches to a father sitting on the ground below some swinging ring handles. Father picks up his child, so he can grab the ring swing handles on the underside of the middle play structure. Scene switches to a view up to two boys as they stand on a belted zone inside the second play structure. Camera switches and focuses on a child’s feet walking on the ropes and belted zones inside the play structure. Camera switches and focuses on a belted zone and connecting ropes as a boy climbs below. Scene switches as the camera focuses on the back of a boy as he climbs on SwiggleKnots Bridge ropes inside the play structure. Scene switches to a ground view of a young boy running out of the bottom exit of the silo structure. The boy walks over to a chin up bar and begins lifting himself up.]

On-screen text: The play experience

[video: Scene switches to a view inside a stainless-steel tunnel where two children crawl and walk through into the main structure. Scene switches as the camera follows behinds a young boy as he crawls up a playground ramp.]

On-screen text: leads children through

[video: scene switches to a boy as he holds onto the camera facing himself as he rides down a stainless-steel slide.]

On-Screen text: the sugar refining process.

[video: scene switches to a young boy standing in front of the silo structure entrance. Scene switches to a top down view of the young boy climbing down a SwiggleKnots Bridge rope inside the silo structure. Scene switches to a view through a tubular cargo net climber tunnel of a boy climbing away from the camera. Scene switches to a full elevated view of the playground. Camera switches to a full aerial view of the tops of the three play structures. As the camera pans over the three structures text appears by each part of the playground showcasing its name.]

On-screen text: From the Sugar Cane Cabin to the Sweetwater Silo to the Sugarcube Centrifuge.

[video: scene switches to a top down view of a boy as he walks up the spiral belted steps inside the silo shaped play structure.]

On-screen text: Each designed to resemble part of the actual factory.

[video: camera focuses on a child’s feet standing on a belt zone inside the silo structure. Scene switches to the camera panning up to the wooden sugar cane cabin and sweetwater silo. Scene switches to a girl as she swings on overhead ring pull handles underneath a play structure. Scene switches to the camera focused on the side wood panels of the sugar cane cabin.]

On-screen text: Featuring wood reclaimed from the original refinery walls.

[video: scene switches to a view inside the sugar cane cabin as a girl climbs down a ladder. Scene switches to a boy as he spins a wheel on the outside of the sweetwater silo.]

On-screen text: and aluminum molds made from salvaged valve wheels.

[video: scene switches to a boy leaning over to speak into a talk tube.]

Boy: Hello.

[video: scene switches to a woman leaned over listening to a talk tube]

Mother: I love you.

[video: scene switches to the boy at a different talk tube.]

Boy: Me too.

[video: scene switches to a ground view of the two stainless-steel slides and cargo net crawl tunnel coming off the third play structure. To young boys begin climbing up the cargo net crawl tunnel towards the play structure. The camera zooms in on the two boys as they climb to the top of the cargo net crawl tunnel. Scene switches to a young boy as he walks towards the camera through a stainless-steel tunnel connecting two play structures. Scene switches to a ground view up to two boys as they climb on the ropes inside the sweetwater silo.]

On-screen text: An exciting and safe spot for everyone to enjoy the historic spirit of this location.

[video: scene switches to kids climbing up a spiraled belted steps and netting inside the sweetwater silo.]

[video: scene switches to a view up to a boy climbing on the play structure cargo nets. Scene switches to a side view as the camera fallows a boy walking over the belted zones in the sweetwater silo. Scene switches to a full elevated view of the playground positioned next to the East River. Scene switches to a young girl climbing up onto the play structure stilts. She smiles up at her father who reaches over to tickle her. Scene switches to a close-up of a child’s hands holding onto and swinging from ring pull handles. Scene switches to a boy climbing up a tubular cargo net crawl tunnel. Scene fades to a young girl smiling and waving at the camera. Scene fades to a young boy smiling and eating a snack. Scene switches to twin brothers hugging each other at the bottom of a stainless-steel, they smile at the camera. Scene switches to a full side elevated view from Domino Park playground. Screen goes black with the Landscape Structures logo in the center. The Landscape Structures logo is made of a red ribbon undulating above the text landscape structures. Text below the logo reads: For a better tomorrow we play today.]

Playground Details

Age Ranges

  • 2 to 5 years
  • 5 to 12 years

Play Styles

Product Lines/ Categories

Design/CAD Files for this Playground

Design files are not available for this custom design. Contact your local playground consultant for additional details.

Price Range (USD)
$200K-$500K+

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Inspired by artist Mark Reigelman’s interpretation of the historic Domino Sugar Factory, Landscape Structures designed it into playable reality. An intricate web of belting, nets and climbers lets kids scramble from the sugar shack up to the masher tower and over to the centrifuge. Stainless steel slides look just like industrial pipes. Casts of original factory valves are scattered throughout. And some of the wood was reclaimed from the original sugar shack, giving kids a tactile connection to history.

Former sugar factory site creating opportunities for social engagement

A 6-acre park in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Domino Park is situated along the East River at the former site of the Domino Sugar Refinery. The park features an ADA accessible elevated walkway, beach volleyball, a bocce court and four-season turf field, two water features, a dog run and restaurant.

A huge piece of the project is the Domino Park Playground, which was designed by Brooklyn-based artist Mark A. Reigelman II. He was approached by Two Trees Management, the owner and operator of the park, to bring his design and creativity to the playground project.

“Two Trees really believed that the playground could be the social epicenter of the park,” said Reigelman. “And they wanted to do it right.”

Research Makes Perfect

Reigelman’s background is in industrial design, and design research has always been an important piece to his process.

“I used social media to reach out to parents,” explained Reigelman. “I asked about the things their kids are most excited to play with at playgrounds. I received hundreds of responses, and slides and swings, or swing-like things, rose to the top.”

“A play space can be as engaging for parents as it is for kids. Even if they're playing under the guise of helping their child.” Mark A. Reigelman II, artist

Additionally, he reached out to his family and friends to ask them what they, as parents, look for when visiting a playground. Even more, he borrowed a friend’s kid and went on a series of playground visits to observe the play experience at a variety of New York locations.

“I took all of that—the social media research, interviews and observations—and funneled it into the design.”

A Vision of Industrial Chaos

“My goal for the playground, conceptually, was pretty obvious,” explained Reigelman. “Research of the site revolved around the Domino Sugar factory. I saw documentation of the factory—tubes coming here and going there. It was beautiful industrial chaos and I thought ‘this is the playground!’”

That initiated the idea. Then Reigelman focused on how to lay out the play experiences in a way that was relevant and fixated on the sugar refinery process. Simplifying a very complicated process, Reigelman reduced the process to three main steps:

  • Step 1: Sugar cane - sugar cane enters the facility and is cleaned, washed, cut and processed.
  • Step 2: Rotary filter - cut sugar cane goes through a series of hot liquid decanters and rotary filters.
  • Step 3: Centrifuge - centrifugal action is used at the end of the process to separate the syrup and sugar crystals into raw sugar and molasses.

“I wanted the kids to be like ‘What is going on? Am I allowed to be here?"

The design started with an industrial aesthetic and incorporated the above process, which lead to the creation of the three main play areas—the Sugar Cane Cabin, Sweetwater Silo and Centrifuge. And to help carry on the story of the factory as well as help with wayfinding, they used words from the original factory signage inside the playstructures.

“The idea is that children enter the playground as the raw sugar cane and exit as raw sugar ,” said Reigelman. “We want them to feel like they are part of the process.”

Reigelman collaborated with a team of experts including Landscape Structures to refine the playground design to ensure that it could be engineered to meet all the appropriate safety standards.

“It took weeks to figure out how we could design and engineer the ladders in the Sugar Cane Cabin in a way that met all necessary safety standards,” he said. “It was hugely collaborative to make it work out.

“The original napkin sketches are pretty darn close to what we ended up fabricating. The team involved was able to see the vision I was trying to achieve. It's great how consistent we stayed throughout the design and engineering process.”

Nurturing Social Interaction

The feedback on Domino Park Playground has been wonderfully positive since it’s opening in June 2018. Rain or shine, the playground has been packed. Not only are the kids and their families enjoying the new play space, but people just passing by are amazed at the custom playstructure.

“You see the parents up there playing with their kids. And it's not because they're concerned about the safety of their kids… they are having fun.”

“The joy and the reward of having something like this in real space is amazing.”

“There is a cross section of people at this playground that is really unique,” said Reigelman. “Long-term Brooklyn residents of various backgrounds and borough newcomers are all gathering and enjoying the social experience and unbelievable views. The playground is providing an opportunity for these parents and their kids to interact in ways that would unlikely to happen otherwise. That has been an awesome observation and has opened my eyes to the opportunity for public art and social engagement.”

Installed: June 2018

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Playground consultant for this project

Site Specialists Ltd.
265 Post Ave Ste 365
Westbury, NY 11590
Phone 516-338-1630
info@sitespecny.com
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