Marine Road Central Play Area, Morecambe Promenade
Russell Play was approached by Lancaster City Council to design a new play area as part of a refurbishment plan for Morecambe Central Promenade. The seaside resort has gone through many great improvements in recent years with some focus on the sea front and promenade for which the town is best known.
Play Area Design
The new play area was to be situated close to the iconic statue of the comedian Eric Morecambe - one of the town’s most famous sons - and the promenade’s historic Clock Tower, another of its classic landmarks. The design and choice of equipment for the play area was therefore very important as the style of the park should be fitting for its place.
The plan was to replace a car park area next to the Clock Tower that was resituated as part of the council’s ‘Connecting Eric’ scheme. The scheme was to make better use of the immediate areas either side of the statue and in turn improve the overall look of the central seafront.
The brief was to create a fun and appealing playground that would become a destination for local residents and visitors alike. The main criteria was to make something different to the standard traditional play areas, one that was very much design-orientated and had a WOW factor for passers-by.
The Russell Play design team came up with the idea of using a Cosmo from Berliner, a globe shaped rope climbing frame with stainless steel outer frame, as one of the two central features. The other central feature was to create a large 2 metre high mound, carpeted in artificial grass, with a cascading stainless steel bannister slide from the Russell Play Silhouette range.
Either side of these on rubber surfacing were to be placed a Sunrise and a Domino, which are other visually complementary play items from the Silhouette range. Added to that were some stainless steel balancing Baubles of varying sizes dotted around the two central features. All of these together provide great possibilities for kids to climb, swing, balance, tumble and slide.
The clean lines and curves of the stainless steel of the Cosmo and Silhouette items give the park a tasteful and sculptural feel where an overtly colourful or heavily themed traditional playground could detract from its close promenade neighbours. The design is striking and modern yet works in well with the overall look of the seafront view.
The play area looks straight out onto Morecambe Bay with views of the Lake District hills beyond. Being on the coast and literally yards from the seafront, the stainless steel play equipment had to be a special marine graded steel that gives added protection against the weather elements of the seaside.
The eye catching playground has made a great impression and is popular with both residents and visitors. It is certainly a destination point on the promenade for families with children where they can all go to play or relax and enjoy the view.