Kilburn Grange Park Adventure play park - engagement

Erect architecture won a competition to design the new Camden Adventure playground and play centre. Adventure playgrounds are about children making things and playing freely and creatively without much prescriptive input. Children are encouraged to explore and take controlled risks.
 
During initial outreach we established the needs and ideas of the community.
We run a series of workshops introducing many topics and issues relevant to adventure play to equip the children with knowledge and tools to use and develop their playground freely and creatively.
‘What is adventure?’ During the first session the children where asked to state their idea of adventure on signs, which were permanently fixed in on site in the park, announcing the project to the wider community and staking their claim on the land.
‘What is adventure?’ During the first session the children where asked to state their idea of adventure on signs, which were permanently fixed in on site in the park, announcing the project to the wider community and staking their claim on the land
 
Free-running workshops with Parkour Generations explored ‘Movement as Adventure’ and controlled risk taking.
 
‘Design as Adventure’ taught the children about structural principles, which they tested on simple large scale models afterwards making propositions for playground structures.
 
‘Nature as Adventure’ introduced the children to playing with nature and natural materials but also to making spatial propositions.
 
The children have actively assisted the construction of some of the play structures on site, such as during erecting posts in a Tuck-War event. They built catapults and made seed balls to seed the biodiversity roof.
 
Together with the Building Exploratory erect devised a legacy project. The Exploratory worked with a wide range of participants exploring the meaning of adventure, addressing the natural environment, the site, architectural design and construction processes. They responded by making models, signs, temporary structures, pinhole cameras, animations and a series of artworks that are embedded in the playground.
The process was compiled into downloadable lesson kit to inspire other, similar projects.
 
The overall project won a RIBA Award as well as the international Children’s Making Space Award.


Location: Kilburn, London
Client: London Borough of Camden
Cost: £950,000 playpark, building and engagement
Status: Completed 

Awards:
Camden Design Award, winner
RIBA Award, winner
Children Making Spaces Award, winner
Making Spaces Award, commendation
 
Architecture, landscape, play design, community engagement: erect architecture
Legacy project: The Building Exploratory
Project management: Developing Projects
Structural engineer: Tall Engineers
QS: Huntley Cartwright
Contractors: Kier, Adventure Playground Engineers (play structures)