An amazing beach themed play area complete with pier, fishing boat, palm trees and pirate treasure chest shows how imagination and good design can create an extraordinary play experience in a public park. Not only that, but an inclusive park where children of all abilities can play together and join in the fun. The distinctive novel theme of ‘Belvedere Beach’ has a great visual impact. The variety of play equipment and the activities on offer feature musical instruments, water play, a large twisting rope climber and themed timber playhouses.
Russell Play produced two conceptual designs for the park, each with a unique theme. The idea was to distinguish the design from a regular public playground and allow it to become a recognised destination in the same way the splash park was. The main aim of the design was to create a unique play experience that would serve as a destination for families to socialise and as a benchmark inclusive playground for London.
The clever use of the colouring of the safety surface is a significant part of the beach theme. Yellow and pale blue coloured areas represent the sand, sea and surf. Decking on the sandy land area has been specifically designed to resemble a seaside pier with palm trees, boulders and some scenic planting. The pier features a low flush ramp for wheelchair access and holds the musical instrument elements. A fresh fish shack play house and a giant wave crashing ashore in the form of a twisting rope climber form the stand out pieces on the sandy beach area. Also situated here are two trampolines, two basket swings and an Access Spinner. A large multi activity fishing boat play house is located in the deep blue seat area and is joined to the shore by an extension of the pier across the ‘sand’ area. The boat has a good range of challenges, including a climbing ramp, two slides, a climbing net, a rope bridge and a balancing rope.
London Borough of Bexley