We have retained the open nature of the space, to ensure there are good sight lines and enough space for 60 children to comfortably spend time in together. Low mounds and the amphitheatre space create a varied landscape and change in levels, to add interest visually as well as providing open ended play value.
The larger items have been positioned around the perimeter, with active / noisy play near the already louder side of the playground, near the adjacent road. The Role Play Houses also help to screen some of the boundary to create a more enclosed play space.
To completely refresh and update the playground with a brand new surface treatment, we have taken into account the existing surfaces and worked out how to create a new space for the most cost effective way. Also bearing in mind that we can’t bury existing wet pour surfaces we have positioned elements such as the mounding in areas that that are existing grass or tarmac.
Astroturf has been chosen as the main surface for the space to meet the requirements of the brief of creating a natural looking and durable play space. We have combined this with areas of wet pour to add a contrast in material and provide another all-weather and durable play surface. Where the two surfaces meet there is no need for an aluminium edge, which both reduces costs and provides a seamless safety surface in the Pole Jungle area. Shock pads underneath the astroturf in this area ensure the surface meets the required fall height safety standards.
We have retained some areas of the existing tarmac to reduce surface costs along with providing space for playing with water, sand, mud etc and for mark making on the ground, keeping the spaces flexible and adaptable.
The playground has been loosely divided into carefully considered zones of play to ensure all elements of the brief have been met and a varied and stimulating play and learning environment will be achieved. Elements include a large non-prescriptive climbing structure, adaptable role play elements, sheltered spaces utilising existing canopies, astroturf mounds with balancing features, a stage and amphitheatre for performance and classroom activities, several opportunities for creative expression and mark making, dedicated messy play spaces, features for curriculum linked activities, along with seating and planting.