Central Festival East Ville Play Area, Bangkok, Thailand

East Ville Play Area

An impressive 9 metre tall climbing tower with an internal 118m³ three dimensional rope net forms the centre of a children’s indoor play area of a huge shopping mall in Bangkok. The play tower was designed and created specifically for the ‘FAMPLAYLAND’ play area as part of the Central Festival East Ville shopping centre. The centre, with its concept of ‘Bangkok Escape’, sets out to offer much more than just an ordinary shopping experience for their visitors, children included.

Bangkok Escape’ aims to give the urban residents a social hub where they can find peace and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok city life. Features like the rooftop running track, the purpose built Pet Park for animal lovers, open spaces throughout with sculptures and planting, as well as FAMPLAYLAND itself, serve to give the centre a community engagement beyond just retail.

Looking down giant bespoke rope climbing tower

FAMPLAYLAND offers kids a safe play environment to develop their physical, mental and social skills at 10 different “Activity stations” across three floor levels. The central climbing tower rises across all three levels of the play area and comprises six stacked ‘room-cell’ layers. To ensure safety, the exterior of the entire tower is wrapped with a strong net. An 8 metre long tunnel slide is attached to the top layer for a speedy descent back to the floor.

The customer was searching for play equipment that optimally matched the conditions of the play area. Based on the relatively small base area and a ceiling height of 10.5 metres, a spatial net leant itself to perfectly utilise the space. “The decisive source of inspiration for that came from the Berliner space net at the Swarovski headquarters which also spans several levels” remembers Eukrit Kraikosol, Head of Operations at Park & Garden and co-operator of the FAMPLAYLAND.

Children playing around in giant bespoke rope tower

“In contrast to Swarovski, the indoor area of the shopping mall did not have any connection options for tensioning points,” says Marius Kotte, architect at Berliner Seilfabrik and Head of Construction and Development. “The solution was the anchoring the 8.5-metre tall steel posts that form the outer shell of the tower into the floor. The clamping elements could be attached to the posts within the structure. The upper clamping balls were brought into the correct position with anchoring cables,” explains Marius Kotte. That way, the climbing tower in the FAMPLAYLAND is the highest free-standing indoor installation of a space net.

In addition to the optimal utilisation of the available space, the climbing tower also conceptionally fits very well into the kid’s area of the Central Festival Eastville. Climbing in the three-dimensional space challenges and supports the children. It helps them to develop their psychomotor skills and fuel their fertile imaginations.

“The tower is a suitable challenge for the kids and gives them the feeling of having achieved something, when they reach the top of the tower. Then the slide is the perfect reward to descend the net,” summarises Eukrit Kraikosol.

Girl emerging from giant stainless steel tube slide