Many thanks to reader Erica Quigley of the Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center for sending photos of the William Carter School Playscape. Carter is a special-needs Boston Public School, who renovated their exterior space with a focus on accessibility. I love the idea of using removable plastic bins for the raised planting beds and playstations.
The Sensory Garden and Outdoor Classroom won a design award from the American Horticultural Therapy Association in 2008.
Carter school also has an innovative bus shelter, designed by graduate students in the architecture program at the Massachusetts College of Art.
"The architecture students came up with the idea of what they termed an “interactive rain garden,’’ one that channels water from the gutters into vertical rows of pint-sized silver buckets - and eventually, into the outstretched hands of Carter students who crave sensory experiences. They also created a xylophone-like rooftop, which would turn the rainfall into rhythms.
The structure would also feature rock-filled basins that provided another sensory experience for the Carter School students. They designed colorful seats - set at wheelchair level - for aides to use while waiting with students. In an environmental touch, they routed all the rainwater, eventually, into basins that nourish nearby plantings.
The roof also includes colorful translucent panels, which project, in sunny weather, hues into the sidewalk." [source]