Wormholt Park Play Area, Shepherds Bush, London
The play expertise of Russell Play was brought on board by the landscape architects and urban designers Levitt Bernstein Associates to help with their task of reimagining and revitalising Wormholt park.
The play area was part of a much larger £1million overhaul of Wormholt Park, funded by a local developer which included planting, footpaths, an upgraded games area and adventure park. The site is located in the London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and serves a large community in the area. The park is free to enter and remains open all year round.
Levitt Bernstein create thriving urban spaces and living landscapes to get the highest benefit for the local community. The element of child’s play in an urban public park is important as it provides a place for children and families to play and meet and gives a sense of well-being to the greater community.
Levitt Bernstein already had an established relationship with Russell Play and in this project wanted them to act as the playground consultant throughout the design and implementation of the new park, as well as to supply the play equipment.
Levitt Bernstein was keen to use items from the Russell Play Spielart timber range which they envisaged would integrate best into the wooded section of the park. The bespoke timber play equipment could help form a ‘playable landscape’ which was part of the overall vision they had for the Wormholt Park redevelopment.
The colour choice throughout is bold, highlighting the creative thinking that has gone into the design. This is demonstrated by the use of a full spectrum of multiple colours on the two timber play structures in the wooded adventure play area. The vibrant, but still, naturally ‘rainbow’ coloured timber forms sit among the trees, changing with the light throughout the day and the year. The many climbing, balancing and hanging activities offered by the units are very attractive to children for all kinds of adventure play.
There is also a family play area more suitable for younger children which was designed with the input of children from the local primary schools. Accessibility was also important in the design with an all-over smooth rubber surface and accessible play equipment. The use of the Earth Yellow wetpour surface was cleverly laid to meander around the play equipment and over mounds to create the body of a carved dragon head that sits atop a slide. The dragon’s head was itself designed by local school pupils and carved by a local artist.
The addition of an Access Spinner, an inclusive roundabout for children of all ages and abilities allows all children to join in the fun. A wheelchair can sit comfortably and securely in the sloped platform and the shape of the handles make sure that it cannot move or tip when spinning around. There is also loads of room for other kids to climb on. The basket swing and spinning dishes of various sizes provide more accessible play.