20/150/60 - Berliner Seilfabrik’s triple anniversary

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Berliner Seilfabrik, a German play equipment manufacturer, celebrates big time under its slogan 20/150/60 - 150 years ago Berliner Seilfabrik was founded, 60 years ago the idea of rope-based play equipment was born, 20 years ago Berliner Seilfabrik became family-owned. In May the company hosts a big party, inviting guests from across the world.

Swings in Chile, slides on Djerba, climbing in Singapore or balancing on New Zealand’s coast. Children wave from the top of 30’ tall central mast climbers at the Baltic Sea or chase each other in a low ropes course in Walldorf. Play equipment for life from Berliner Seifabrik’s manufacturing facilities challenge and promote the motor and social skills of our children across the globe as well as at our front door.

This year the Berliner play equipment manufacturer celebrates big time under its slogan 20/150/60.

150 years ago Berliner Seilfabrik was founded.
Originally founded as a supplier of steel cables for the Berliner elevator industry, today, Berliner Seilfabrik is producing play equipment for children. In the 70’s the company manufactured the word’s first mass-production play structure based on steel-reinforced ropes.

60 years ago the idea of rope-based play equipment was born.
In the 50’s, Joe Brown, a boxer as well as a professor of sculpture, invented rope-based play structures. Joe built the first prototype, recognizing the high educational value of climbing in a three-dimensional space. Commemorating the rope-play pioneer Joseph Brown, last year, with its Joe Brown Collection, Berliner Seilfabrik introduced the world’s first 3D net climber with a wooden frame.

20 years ago Berliner Seilfabrik became family-owned.
Since the late 70’s Karl Köhler has been part of the traditional company. The production of rope-based play structures has always been said to be his hobby-horse. After the fall of the Berlin wall, when the Bavarian parent company was about to retreat from Berlin and to give up its manufacturing plant, the entrepreneur Köhler recognized the chance and took over Berliner Seilfabrik in a management buyout. Ever since the focus has been the development and production of rope-based play structures.

Sustainable Berliner Play Structures
The corporate group still focuses on rope-based play structures, but no longer exclusively. Now, Berliner Seilfabrik is a full-range supplier covering all other play functions as well. Berliner’s newest innovations are treehouse-similar play houses upgraded with bamboo panels, which following the tradition, of course can be connected via net tunnels or other components. For customer-specific special projects, the BERLINER Creativ Center consisting of 8 landscape architects, designers and engineers, implements each play idea, utilizing the state-of-the-art fabrication capabilities. The daughter company, Urban Design Berlin, puts its focus on high-end "playpoints“, which interpret the classic play functions in a new way in sculptural shapes within the urban context. For more than 7 years, son David Köhler also has been the family business’ managing partner. In 2009, accompanied by two colleges, David went for one year to the USA, in order to establish there the first own foreign subsidiary. Following the successful mission, in 2013, David Köhler took over shares in the Berliner Seilfabrik from his father.

The Berliner Seilfabrik team looks forward to the party in May when hosting partners from across the world, including planners, landscape architects, customers, suppliers, friends and family. The guests are invited to go on a culinary journey while enjoying live music: passing by delicacies from countries which have played an important role for Berliner. After a brief welcoming three short presentations in the Pecha Kucha format will be delivered, offering insights in projects from 150 years of the company’s history, 60 years rope-based play structures and 20 years family business.

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