Shrimp Boat Hill is inspired by Lake Pontchartrain’s natural assets and bountiful yield, as well as the maritime industry. The intent is to create an engaging play area that explores the natural assets and systems and subtly educates about the importance of this industry to the culture of the community of Bucktown and the Greater New Orleans Area.
The concept is life on Lake Pontchartrain, expressed by two play areas that are divided vertically, representing life above and below the water. Shrimp Boat Hill provides a central feature of a shrimp boat with outriggers and nets cast below the water, representing the working seafood fishing fleet that is central to Bucktown community’s history. The nets provide multiple climbing opportunities to make the vertical transition up from the lower level to the stern of the boat, reminiscent of a shrimp or crab caught in the fisherman’s net. Multiple slides and climbers, both through the walls and above the surface, allow the vertical transition down. Up, down, and through circulation circuits center the active play atop the hill and the boat. The area two fathoms down represent life below the water and is generally a more passive play space. A sandy bottom with passive play structures, as well as kid-friendly interpretive signage will present what it’s like below the surface from the perspective of a fish or a crab. The vernacular of the forms and spaces is nautical and industrial – modified and stacked shipping containers for restrooms and play spaces, ropes and nets, decks and wooden piles.