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Duthie Park, Aberdeen City Council

Duthie Park

Russell Play was invited by Aberdeen City Council along with three other playground design companies to submit designs for two new play areas in the popular and well used Duthie Park.

Multi activity playhouse with large tube slide and climbing ramp


Russell Play had previously designed and built the original natural play area in Duthie Park which was awarded the Nancy Ovens Award 2013 in the category ‘Best space for play’. The judges were very impressed by the Russell Play design and awarded it for fulfilling their 4 main criteria of involvement of the community in the design, how it integrated into the space, the play experience itself and access. The original play area was created as part of a larger restoration of the park partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Russell Play went on to successfully win the tender to design and build the new play areas.

Themed multi activity timber playhouses in sand play area Duthie Park


Part of the Aberdeen City Council brief for the new play area requested that two defined age groups be considered with their own separate play parks. One would be for toddlers and the other for juniors catering for children up to 12 years old. The junior area was to be situated on an existing slope and would have to act as a centre piece. This centre piece would be a focal point that could be seen when passing by and give people a ‘wow factor’ which would want to make them visit.

Timber play house with slide and access ladder at Duthie Park


In consultation with Aberdeen City Council and a local community group called ‘Friends of the Park’ it was expressed that in the junior area a tall climbing structure in a similar style to the existing park equipment would be preferred. It was also requested the structure should include a long tubular steel slide which would be great fun for older children but also have great visual impact.

The equipment was made using Spielart Robinia timber to match with the natural look of the existing equipment. Spielart construct bespoke equipment which allowed something specially designed by Russell Play to be made to work on the slope. The existing theme of natural coloured structures with a red spotted roof was carried through. To compliment the slide in the junior area, a climbing and hanging log and rope unit and a hand-over-hand rope and balancing log unit were added.

Detail of timber carvings on playhouse roof


The toddler area has a play house structure on a smaller scale including a slide and a red spotted roof to match it with the other play areas in the park. Other units were added for a variety of different play activities in the natural timber range including stepping logs, a hammock swing and a bumble bee springer.

The completed play areas of Duthie park have enhanced and added visual interest to a much used green space and has been well received by the many children and parents that visit the park.

Timber carved train and coach play structure