Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Tables, Now New and Improved

The Tables first debuted in 2009. We saw the resurgence of ping pong as a pastime throughout the city, and seized the opportunity to bring the game and equipment to the great outdoors for free. The Tables were an instant hit. With waitlists for our monthly tournaments, and 45 minute queue times at lunch to play, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for the area.

Before: The Tables in June 2013

Through last year, The Tables were located on a surface of granite slabs, surrounded by compacted gravel. With the growing enthusiasm for the ping pong area, the surface could not hold up to the high traffic and active use in the area. The transition between the two materials was hard to maintain, and with frequent divots, the surface was often unsafe or filled with puddles.

Puddling and erosion created a hazardous condition at the back of the play area.
When we set out to create a better play surface, we analyzed the area holistically, and made a huge wishlist of improvements. We believe a well maintained park creates a safer environment and fosters positive use of public space. In the end, creating an identity for the space, encouraging mixed use, and softening the edges with color, design, and horticulture were close seconds the new ground covering.

The new area is bordered with artificial turf grass, and incorporates bold pops of orange and green color. This new color scheme reflects popular colors in the sport, mirroring orange from the balls and green from our Joola tables. The turf adds a softer side, reminiscent of flowers and plant material, but with the added advantage of being hardy enough to withstand the foot traffic in the area.

After: The Tables on Opening Day 2014

We find that many people who come to play ping pong in the park, spend longer lengths of time sitting. We decided to customize the furniture for this area to make users more comfortable. Coming soon, you'll see a set of ping pong specific furniture for the area with chairs, tables, stools, and a couple of benches.

Simulation of new design for The Tables

The Tables
April - September
Daily, 11am-7pm*
October - November
Daily, 11am-6pm*
*All hours weather permitting

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