Open pergola, nest swings, dried herbs and benches—a new resting park took over the old playground of the Miskolc Autism Foundation. Special attention was paid to the specific needs of people with autism in the development of new functions and park elements: the area is not only an important place for relaxation, but also for other joint occupations.
Each year, the MAACRAFT social workshop presents a new exciting collaboration or collection of objects. Unusually, this year they did not focus on a new product, but on the needs of the citizens of the Miskolc Autism Foundation. With the ideas of Dániel Szalkai, project manager of MAACRAFT, and with the help of the foundation’s creative team, a new recreation park and playground were created. “Our goal was to create a new recreation park in addition to the old playground area, where the members of the foundation’s community can relax actively under orderly conditions. In the open pavilion, you can dry spices and herbs, hold therapeutic sessions, or arrange joint programs such as evening barbecue” Dani told us.
In the resting park there are unique toys including nest swings, benches, and the covered pavilion mentioned above. “The location allows more young people to stay in the open air at the same time, people with disabilities can undertake more diverse development activities,” said Dani. In addition to recreational activities, the new resting park is also a site for various outdoor activities and summer camps: it will also host activities for special needs students at the Vargahegyi Development Primary School. There will be art therapy, communication practice, singing and special gym exercises. As Dani pointed out “this developed area is an important place for relaxation.”
During the design of community functions and forms, the team took into account the specific needs of people with autism. The construction was carried out by the foundation’s social workshop, the staff of MAACRAFT, using only one material, the pine, to build the tools. In addition, an important element of the resting park is the design of the herb dryer and meditation cabin by the architects of AUW and outdoor resting furniture based on the design of Luca Benke, Julianna Szűcs and Janka Gulyás.
The modernization and renovation of the foundation’s building were one of the objectives for some time now: the renovation of the housing units will be the focus after the establishment of the playground. Their other projects include the transition to assisted housing, one of the pilot areas of which is the Barka Social Farm, where eight or twelve young adults living with autism will live together on their own, producing their own food, seeking full sustainability.