erect architecture completed South Norwood Hill Children’s Centre in 2011. The design for the play ramps and amphitheatre was finalised one year later following a period of settling in for the users.
The play ramps create playful connections between the Centre’s balcony and the glade below, while the space underneath the balcony is also utilised for play and a buggy store.
Each ramp provides a different play experience - ropes and nets to climb up, routes to ride down on a tricycle, or steps for a more direct link. Handrails incorporate channels for water to trickle down or toy cars to race down. Tunnels connect dens beneath the existing balcony creating multiple routes and instances for play.
The play ramp is clad in larch and designed to tie in with the building. The feature turned a previously inaccessible terrain into an asset of the children centre.
The terraced amphitheatre creates a play feature in a previously unusable space below an existing bridge. Again it uses the scale of the younger children to create a bespoke world with exciting nooks and crannies to explore, while the various gates give the school the control over its use.
Both new additions have impacted positively on the centre’s users, with children wishing to use the structures after pick-up, and thus encouraging parents to meet and a sense of community to form.
Location: Croydon, London
Completed: November 2012