Chris & Mike Visit Berliner Seilfabrik Factory
Berliner Seilfabrik has been creating unique rope-based play structures since 1972. A family-owned and operated business out of Berlin, Germany, Berliner Seilfabrik is an industry-leading manufacturer for aesthetically pleasing and imaginative play equipment. In 2016, St. Croix Recreation became their exclusive representative for the state of Minnesota and in February, 2018 Chris & Mike had the opportunity to visit their facilities first-hand. See what they had to say about their experience and this fascinating line.
Q: What was your favorite playground you visited in Berlin?
M: My favorite was a relatively new installation at an apartment housing complex. It was quite large with many elements and resembled what you would find in a bigger neighborhood park or school playground. The layout was really conducive to continuous play and everything was challenging, regardless of age. It is amazing the variety of play you can provide by using ropes and other dynamic materials and equally amazing is how kids of different ages and abilities use each piece.
Q: What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
C: Berliner uses platonic solids (there are five of them) for inspiration while creating a lot of the designs for the nets and structures which I hadn’t been aware of before. Karl had used platonic solids and the barns he had seen in the United States to create the Greenville playground line. It was neat to hear about the creative process.
Q: Tell me about the staff of Berliner?
M: What’s not to love about a father-son duo? It was really nice to see how well the owners and employees enjoy one another and get to know them. Karl Köhler , the owner, assisted the ASTM with their standards regarding rope playground safety and his son David is also an avid Viking’s fan – skol!
C: Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to answer any questions. Most of the staff has worked there for a long time; the business has a great culture and we made some new friends.
Q: What is your favorite piece of Berliner equipment – something you’re excited to find a home for here in Minnesota?
M: I would love to see the Triitopia in Minnesota!
C: I really enjoyed a custom-built tower structure we saw at Karl’s Erlebnisse Strawberry Farm/Amusement Park. It was a 30’ tall rope structure with a slide coming off the top platform. The views were unbelievable and it was cool to see how many kids of all ages were enjoying the equipment, it definitely made me feel like a kid again!
Q: What was your favorite part of the factory tour?
C: It was neat to see the machine in person that has been making all of Berliner’s rope for 60+ years. I was also impressed by seeing how the more complex rope pieces were assembled by experienced workers by hand.
Q: Why are you looking forward to bringing more Berliner playgrounds to MN/Why do you think it’s a good fit for here?
C:Their structures are different and unique; the size and height they provide would really diversify our park systems and bring in people from all over to play.
Q: Why do you like working with Berliner and their equipment?
M: I really like offering Berliner equipment to my customers because I know it’s well made and is going to be what they wanted and more. It’s a manufacturer that really stands by its products.
To learn more about Berliner Seilfabrik , contact us today or click here to visit their page and view their collection of catalogs.