A massive restoration project by Dutch playground company Van Vliet, using Playtop surfacing, has ensured that a jigsaw puzzle is nearly visible from space. The puzzle, located not far from Utrecht in the Netherlands, is in fact a manmade island in the shape of a jigsaw puzzle, dubbed 'Puzzle Island'. Set within a 140 hectare leisure park and lake called Maarsseveense Plassen, the newly restored attraction is nearly visible from the orbit of the Earth.
In recent years Puzzle Island had lost its appeal and fallen into a state of disrepair, leading many visitors to shy away from the attraction. But after a foremost recreation authority and the island's owner, Het Recreatieschap Stichtse Groenlanden, approached Playtop's Dutch licensee, Van Vliet, to oversee a full restoration of Puzzle Island, work began to put this local attraction back on the map.
Sander Werhoven from Van Vliet liaised with the client on the project: "The initial plans that the site owners had were working out very expensive so they asked us to come up with some alternatives. So that's what we did - providing some powerful and colourful ideas that came within the budget. The client was delighted."
The intensive restoration process included new playground equipment, a new waterslide and the extensive use of colour to create a completely new look and to breathe life back into the once-popular tourist hotspot. Fountains and water games set throughout the island were also revamped, whilst care was taken to ensure the iconic outline of the island was not changed.
Despite a long Dutch winter threatening to cut the project short, work resumed on the project in the spring when a new waterslide and wooden playing device were installed, the newly painted water games were re-installed, a little climbing wall was made, the pavement was redone, grass was sown and 545m2 of Playtop surfacing were installed.
The bold and colourful design makes use of Playtop safer surfacing in a variety of seven different blends, including a bespoke Playtop Street area, which Playtop spokesman Thomas Møller-Nielsen explains is a "hugely progressive and interactive tool for play."
He said: "This project is so ambitious in both scope and scale that only the best would do: from the highest specification of materials to the leading edge of interactive play equipment, we wanted Puzzle Island to showcase the best the sports and play industry has to offer.
"Playtop Street is a perfect accompaniment to this, as the outdoor play area now physically and mentally stimulates individuals or groups of children and adults. It consists of an oval shaped play area containing 12 satellites set into Playtop safer surfacing. Each satellite produces a series of colours and sounds when touched by a hand or a foot, which makes play uniquely interactive, even when playing by yourself."
While there are no aerial pictures of the finished site yet, in time the new colourful Puzzle Island will be seen on Google Earth and, possibly, even from space.
For more information on Puzzle Island, visit: Puzzle Island Website.