Thomas Walker Luckey
January 6, 1940
|Died||August 19, 2012 72) (aged|
|Alma mater||Yale School of Architecture|
|Known for||Luckey Climbers|
|Children||Spencer, Kit, Walker, Owen|
|Parent||General Robert Luckey|
Thomas Walker Luckey (January 6, 1940 – August 19, 2012) was an American architect and sculptor, best known for inventing abstract playgrounds called Luckey Climbers.Luckey also created furniture, merry-go-rounds, and interiors.
After graduating from the Yale School of Architecture in the late 1960s,Luckey began remodeling friends' houses and doing experimental projects, including one described as transforming:
... part of a Vermont house into a "spooky space landscape," as one critic described it. Randomly placed steps, ramps, and terraces ascended to the ceiling, and surfaces were sheathed in woolly orange carpet. Elsewhere in the house, a cylindrical rotating room replicated the spatial transmutations of LSD with a bed that became the back of a sofa, a table that morphed into a seating platform that became a desk, and so on.
In addition to interiors and furniture, he also designed merry-go-rounds; one, inspired by square dances, moves riders from one seat to another as they go around.
A mutual friend introduced Luckey to Agnes Gund, who insisted he contact the Boston Children's Museum.After he persuaded officials to let him build his first Luckey Climber, the structure turned out to be one of the museum's most popular exhibits, and has now been replaced with a new version.
In 2005, Luckey fell out of a second-story bathroom window and landed on his head. He fractured his cervical vertebra and was paralyzed from the neck down.
Luckey died on August 19, 2012, at Yale–New Haven Hospital due to complications from pneumonia. He was 72.
Luckey Climbers are multi-story climbing structures crossed with mazes and jungle gyms. In appearance, they have been compared to "a Calder mobile fashioned from Monet's lily pads".They have been installed in locations across North America that include:
Venue Location Boston Children's Museum Boston, Massachusetts Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Young at Art Museum Davie, Florida Papalote museo del niño
(Papalote Children's Museum)
Mexico City, Mexico Children's Discovery Museum Normal, Illinois Children's Museum of Winston-Salem Winston-Salem, North Carolina Westfield Fox Valley Aurora, Illinois Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago, Illinois WonderLab Bloomington, Indiana Long Island Children's Museum Garden City, New York Children's Museum at Holyoke Holyoke, Massachusetts Children's Museum of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee The Commons Columbus, Indiana Children's Museum of Alamance County Graham, North Carolina Westfield Century City Los Angeles, California Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum Reno, Nevada Children's Museum of South Dakota Brookings, South Dakota Providence Children's Museum Providence, Rhode Island Delaware Children's Museum Wilmington, Delaware Children's Museum of the Upstate Greenville, South Carolina Children's Museum of Houston Houston, Texas The Magic House Kirkwood, Missouri Kidspace Children's Museum Pasadena, California Discovery Place Charlotte, North Carolina Christ Community Church St. Charles, Illinois
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