Naturally, one of the highlights of the year was the long-awaited opening of Magical Bridge playground, an inclusive space for players of all abilities. Working with mastermind Olenka Villareal and the other builders on this project to create a welcoming — and most importantly, fun — environment for kids who may not be able to enjoy a traditional playground was a fantastic, fulfilling experience.
While we’ve participated in the Dreams Happen Gala & Auction since 1999, this past year had the distinction of being the first one where famed architect Frank Gehry participated as well. We are honored that our play structure raised the most money for the Dreams Happen Foundation among such an illustrious lineup of play houses. This years contribution, The Play’s the Thing, celebrates the thespian in us all!
It’s no surprise we love surprising kids with amazing play spaces, and the Atherton Treehouse was a particularly fun one to unveil. During the construction process we even wrapped the structure in black cloth each night so we wouldn’t spoil the big reveal.
When you’ve built as many play structures as Barbara has, an unusual yard with difficult terrain is a welcome challenge. And we couldn’t be happier with how this majestic beauty turned out.
Panzu Nzau Ngola, niece of Artist & Master Stainer, Rudi, joined us from Holland this fall as an intern. This is her first time in the United States and it has been a blast hearing about her adventures as she explores the Bay Area.
In addition, Barbara celebrated her 28th anniversary of making kids’ play structures and treehouses in October, while sister Suzanne marked 15 years since she co-founded Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc. in August.
Here’s to 2016!