The Yekaterinburg company Diorit creates modern playgrounds, analogues of which can only be found in the capital and abroad. They are attracted by environmental friendliness and aesthetics, but their main feature is uniqueness: due to the bending of the trees stored in the structures, all complexes differ from each other. In Yekaterinburg, sites can be found in the residential complexes Malevich, Newton Park, Makarovsky, Solnechny, First Quarter and Shishimskaya Gorka. In many yards, handmade sites of the Taiga line have become a hit of the company. . There are also complexes in Moscow, Tyumen and Novosibirsk. Life around spoke with the director of the company about why developers refuse bright plastic slides and how the production of playgrounds in Yekaterinburg works.
Development Director Diorit
Eco-sites in Denmark and in Yekaterinburg
Diorit has existed since 2009, but five years ago we came to rethink the production of gaming equipment. At some point, we were tired of creating it according to patterns: work for the sake of work - no inspiration. We traveled to playgrounds in other cities, watched how everything was arranged and how it was operated, studied European analogues and chose what could be adapted to Russian reality. So there was an eco-line "Taiga", which has become popular.
At that time, the topic of ecology was very relevant in Russia, and in Europe, wooden platforms always went along with plastic complexes, where the history of the production of platforms from eco-materials began back in the 1960s. Now the Europeans already have enormous experience, the accumulated materials, equipment and worked out moments, while we are young people in the market, but still tried not to copy, but to create a unique product. Recently, analogues of our sites appear in Russia, but they are inferior to us both in the quality of materials and in the structures themselves.
If we talk about the idea of the emergence of unusual sites, it all started with the Danish company Monstrum, which produces children's equipment in its own style: these are always large, colorful, unusual shapes. Platforms in the form of huge bears, sunken ships and so on. In Russia there are several sites of this brand: in Moscow and Kazan. One of the steep platforms, the sunken liner with a lighthouse, was placed in Gorky Park in 2014 - we were inspired by this. But if Monstrum makes a completely targeted product in a bright style, the Taiga eco-line is made in natural colors, with virtually no painted elements.
Five years ago, the only developer in Yekaterinburg who could be offered to do something similar in the yard was Prinzip, the company that built Newton Park and Malevich. I contacted their marketing department, told the idea. They already had their own idea of a site in the theme of the Emerald City with towers and hills, together we finalized and implemented it. Then they came up with the second stage, which was already reminiscent of our future line of "Taiga". After that we realized that it is possible and necessary to do some unique things. We create a pair of individual projects a year - no more, because each takes a lot of time.
Taiga, word of mouth and ropes from Europe
We decided to create a fixed ruler, because it’s easier for people to choose from a set of elements than to invent their own. Let's see how it goes further, but Taiga has entered - in this product we now compete only with European manufacturers. Recently, they sent me a project to improve the park in Nizhny Novgorod, and by some miracle our sites were laid in it. Designers are interested, we give them information, and they distribute it to customers. With word of mouth, we travel around the country. Our sites are already in Moscow, Tyumen, Novosibirsk. I hope to see you soon in public.
The cost of our sites by the Ural standards is bolshevat for the budget of a private customer, so usually we get orders from developers. Recently, they turned to us for help in developing a project for a playground for the municipality. The Taiga line is twice as expensive as standard systems, but it gives aesthetic pleasure and a longer service life. This is not a cheap or mass product - it is created individually, by hand.
All logs are processed manually to preserve the bends of the tree, giving the structure a charm - it does not have standard straight lines, but there are irregular shapes. The constructions do not use a rounded log - the tree is somewhere thicker, somewhere thinner and retains its natural bends. It is more expensive in terms of production, but each building is unique, because in nature there are no two identical trees. That is why even the sizes of template designs always vary.
The high cost of the line determines the quality of materials. We selected materials that live long under conditions of aggressive operation: solid larch wood, stainless steel, weatherproof and lightweight aluminum, polypropylene ropes with a steel core from Europe. They are also produced by us, but there they are the most resistant to ultraviolet, and therefore they show themselves more interesting during operation. The set of materials is small, but it is selected in such a way that allows us to give a guarantee to our playgrounds for up to ten years, and not one year, as in 90% of manufacturers on the market.
Our log joints cannot be found in anyone else; we developed them ourselves. It turned out quite interesting. In any case, the log is not dry - it is dried to atmospheric humidity and after that during the year gives some kind of sediment. To prevent the complexes from breaking apart, we developed a special system: the management company tightens the connections once a season, and the complex remains in a stable, safe state - as it should be. Often, even with European manufacturers, everything is much simpler: a stud is simply used, which is cut off, and then the nuts are tightened. So we have this node more thoughtful than the others. We try to maintain our sites at the right level so that it is not embarrassing to show them.
If we talk about unique projects, then most often the customer gives us an idea. He offers the theme, and we throw up conceptual ideas, drawings, color schemes, then coordinate and look at the reaction. After that comes an understanding of what exactly the customer needs, and then we finalize the project. So we create these individual stories. Together with workers in our team about 30 people. If we count separately designers and constructors, then there are few of them - the staff varies from two to four people. We don’t need a lot of people: a lot of work, but we can cope.
A designer can draw a beautiful picture, but for it to turn out to be of high quality, it needs to be well developed. This is where the designer comes in, who must take into account and comply with all safety requirements: we have standards enshrined in GOST. It is necessary that the equipment can withstand loads, be safe and at the same time be as similar as possible to the model created by the designer.
We can say that the work of the designer is even more important than the designer. To some extent, making it as in a picture is more difficult than drawing the picture itself. When designing, the combination of materials, elements, and internal space is not taken into account. We are gaining experience and have recently come to the conclusion that designers think in advance about the internal content of the sites, about the various elements and their forms, but this did not happen before, and the designers had to take on even more.
The life cycle of the project takes about three years: time is needed for design, documentation, auction and implementation. Sometimes it happens that a project remains in the closet, if in the end we don’t agree with the customer in numbers. We can deal with the filling of the sites both ourselves and third-party designers. We help them analyze the structure of the site and understand what the equipment should be. We deal with them most often, because in most cases, customers do not have the necessary competence and understanding for how to do this.
Thus, the creation of each site involves several stages. First, planning, in which designers take into account the wishes of the customer and the context of the area, then design, where designers connect to the process, trying to bring the design idea to life. The final stage is the installation and installation of the children's complex, ensuring that the right complex is installed in the right place.
Broken knees and inspiration
We can’t reorient kindergartens to our non-standard line. Their administrations are looking with some shock that our sites have abstract functions, and the children themselves can figure out how to play on their territory: "This is all dangerous, incomprehensible. Children will fall from the log!" They are so frightened, because they are responsible for any bruise of the child, and parents are different and can not always understand everything correctly. But in fact, the municipality in Yekaterinburg and large realtors in Moscow are already interested in setting up sites from the line in new pre-school education facilities under construction. It is possible that soon we will go through their fears, because abrasions on the elbows and broken knees are normal attributes of children's life.
Now we are looking for things that no one does in Russia and that no one pays attention to: we look, look, inspire. Our imagination is primarily aimed at creating elements related to sensory sensations. We are finishing the development of musical and lighting elements for playgrounds that will allow children to study light and sound, but we also have many other ideas.
For example, we think a lot about water elements. Water is a bewitching theme for children. If not for the parents, they would spend all their time at the water. Jumping, splashing, playing with stones and sand, mixing mud - all this is very cool for a child. This is difficult to meet with a foreign manufacturer, I'm not talking about domestic, so all our forces are sent there. I think that such complexes will be in demand, but it will be a long process, and the product will not be released until the middle of next year.
I think that soon, maybe in a year, and in public places such sites will begin to appear. Maybe not ours, but other manufacturers, but they will also look more aesthetic, attractive, more interesting than the current ones. To take even a platform near Mega is also a piece product. There are even a lot of children there even in bad weather. Why? Because such a platform with abstract functions is more interesting for a child. Children have a lot of fantasies, but if the plot of the game is defined, then it will develop only within the plot of the manufacturer, and if you turn off the plot from a specific product, then there will be more freedom for creativity.
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