Shade and shelter is provided by the large central structure inspired by Balinese beach huts, it has a larch lap timber roof that provides a striking centre piece to the courtyard with its natural timbers and geometric patterns.
The Hex structure’s raised deck allows children to be up high above the ground; it is constructed from round pole larch and sawn larch timbers with netting sides to let light into the den whilst allowing staff to supervise from the ground.
Two routes up and down; adult friendly steps and a timber ladder offers different levels of challenge and provides climbing activity.
Underneath the main deck is another playful space with a large chalkboard and Mud Kitchen with a working kitchen sink for role play.
It was important to use as many different materials as possible to soften the noise and allow for manipulative play. We have chosen to use sand, bark strip, paving slabs, cobbles, boulders and timber decking providing a variety of textures and surfaces.
A brick water rill runs around the perimeter of the Hex structure and drains into the sand pit to give increase the manipulative properties of the sand. This can be used by children for water play using buckets filled from the outside tap installed in the courtyard.
Four tall larch poles with the bark left on support a series of cables which will provide a living green canopy roof once established. It has its own irrigation system which supplies the plants with water reducing the need for maintenance. We have planted Star Jasmine which is a quick growing, evergreen climber with heavily scented star shaped flowers. The green canopy will help to reduce the pollution levels in the air, give a wonderful scent from the summer flowers and encourage into the courtyard small bugs, insects and butterflies.