Jesse Lockhart-Krause proposes Balloon Swing for New York park
Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

Balloon Swing proposed for New York park

Children would swing beneath a giant colourful hot-air balloon in this proposal for a sculpture park in Queens by Australian architect Jesse Lockhart-Krause.

Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

Jesse Lockhart-Krause designed the Balloon Swing for the Folly 2015 sculpture competition, organised by The Architectural League.

The design is intended for a clearing between trees at the Socrates Sculpture Park, located beside the East River in New York's Long Island City.

Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

"The colourful and flamboyant hot-air balloon, tethered to the ground, supports a simple rope swing, allowing children a unique and memorable ride within the protection of the surrounding trees," said Lockhart-Krause.

The American oak seat of the swing would be suspended off the ground by two polypropylene ropes attached to the rip-stop nylon canopy.

Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

Controlled using the balloon's hot air inflation system, the seat would be lowered to allow its user to clamber on and then lifted slightly to clear the ground by changing the temperature of the air.

Installed by a certified professional, the gas would feed through one of the aluminium posts that supports the balloon's bracing ring – keeping it in place when not heated at night.

Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

A pipe from the post would connect the burner with the gas tanks, stored in a shallow trench within a safety enclosure.

Polypropylene ropes tethered to the ground are also proposed to help keep the balloon stable.

According to the designer, the components for the installation would be borrowed from New York's ballooning community and returned after use.

Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

"The Balloon Swing provides a beautiful high-impact sculpture, as well as utilitarian swing," said the architect. "Its colour and associations to play and childhood adding to the park's identity and sense of place."

The winner of the Folly 2015 competition will be announced at the beginning of March. The recipient will complete a two-month residency in the park's outdoor studio while their design is fabricated, before the installation opens to the public in May.