“Working with experts like the team at Playscape opened up possibilities that we just hadn’t considered. Now the children have an exciting and practical space to let their imaginations fly. Knowing we have something unique to our school and environment is really special.”
This primary school’s brief was to create a master concept plan to design future outdoor spaces that link together through a nature trail. The initial stage focused on a sandpit and a junior school playground that enabled the kids to get to height, to feel as if they were amongst the tree canopy that wraps around the school’s perimeter. Their current bush space inspired the kids to pretend to be gold miners, and the brief was to take aspects of this to weave into the junior school playground.
Principal Nick Shaw describes the previous junior school playground as “an awkward shape and gradient. It had been largely cobbled together by parents and the kids just didn’t use what was there and during winter it was too wet and boggy.”
“Now the children have an exciting and practical space to let their imaginations fly. The children wanted to be high and the main playground structure provides an impressive sight and experience. It gives children a challenge and doesn’t dictate “how it needs to be played with”. They are such striking pieces that always invokes a sense of awe from new children and parents. Knowing we have something unique to our school and environment is really special.”
Our approach at Playscape is to dream big, think outside of the box. Nick describes this process, “working with experts like the team at Playscape opened up possibilities that we just hadn’t considered. They listened to us, but most importantly to the children. It wasn’t really about design, it was about ‘playability’. So while the playground looks great, it is really about what children want to play with and how they play and learn with it.”
Working over on an island definitely provides some changes in logistics when your team and equipment needs to arrive via a ferry. We worked alongside local providers where possible to minimise what we needed to transport over to Waiheke. Construction happened during the school term. Nick said “It was a really easy process. The crew were awesome and professional. Nothing was an issue and anything that was solved in a really timely and clever way. The collaboration between the school, design team and the builders was really seamless.”