Helen Diller Playground

Bringing Innovative Play to the heart of San Francisco

The newly-renovated Helen Diller Civic Center Playground, located in the heart of San Francisco is bringing the joy of play to one of the most densely populated areas of the city.


Inspiration from the Clouds

In collaboration with Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture firm, the KOMPAN Design Studio was able to design and engineer completely unique play structures specifically tailored to their vision. After years of collaboration with Jackie Safier, Helen Diller’s daughter, they were ready to bring to life their concept of a playground inspired by cloud formations and weather patterns. It was their goal to create something completely original that the world had never seen before.

The KOMPAN Design Studio was able to build a custom solution that would serve as a city landmark and tell their story. Using our research-based expertise on play, we took their concepts and designed structures that would be safe, inclusive, and create graduated challenges, encouraging growth through play. 


The custom ‘Lenticular Cloud’ design is based on the concept of climbing up through a layer of fog and then busting up to the sky. The kids can then jump up and down with excitement on the nets under the sun. It’s exciting to see the kids get to the top and get their bearings, it’s very high, but you can watch them gain confidence and run across the nets, they can play tag or roll around up there then escape down the slide - Emily Rylander (Andrea Cochran, Landscape Architecture)








Creating Play for the Entire Community

We worked closely with The Trust for Public Land to make certain the play space would support everyone in the community. The Trust for Public Land has set out to improve the lives of urban dwellers by bringing parks and natural spaces to all. They have been working across cities to ensure that everyone has a park or a natural area within a 10- minute walk from their homes. Within a 10-minute walk of the new Helen Diller Playground there are over 36,000 people. The larger-than-life innovative rope and net structures bring active entertainment to all ages and abilities. Its unique design encourages all to make the challenging climb to the top, reward themselves with an exhilarating slide down, and keep going back for more.





Working Together Towards A Common Goal

This elaborate community destination was brought to life by an extensive amount of teamwork from many organizations. The Trust for Public Land and San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department held many workshops and community meetings to ensure that this space would meet all the city's needs. The Helen Diller Playground is now serving San Francisco as both an adventurous destination as well as a creative neighborhood park that allows the entire community to enjoy the great outdoors together in an artful urban setting.





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Winner of the American Institute of Steal Construction 2019 IDEASAward


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Most audacious and tranformative playground in our cities' modern history.

Phil Ginsburg

San Francisco Recreation & Park

General Manager

Helen Diller Playground

California, San Francisco 94114, USA