westley design | inclusive landscape architecture

Kelson Park Play Pathfinder

Play landscape design

The challenge

We were appointed under the Play Pathfinder project, by Bath and North East Somerset District Council as their designers for play space development within six existing run down parks. The challenge was to design play landscapes focussed on 8-13 year olds (but also involving inclusive provision for children in older and younger categories). The key elements of the project brief were natural play and inclusion of opportunity for disabled stakeholders. A further challenge was the project program which required consultation with six sets of local stakeholders, design and implementation management of all six projects over a period of just 6 months. Kelston Park is an extensive area of grassed public open space surrounded by relatively new housing. It contained football pitches, new under 8 fenced play space, metal youth shelter and basketball practice area. The park was built on exceptionally poorly drained land and was used as a connecting space between neighbourhoods.

What we did

Westley Design worked with Mor Design and Bath Area Play Project and Wansdyke Play Association play rangers to facilitate consultation sessions with local people. We responded to the feedback from these sessions and the design brief from the client (Bath and North East Somerset District Council and District and Town Councils) to produce first, a Conceptual Play Strategy, then an Outline Proposal and finally a Play Masterplan for each of the six parks working with timber designer-makers Touchwood Enterprises. At Kelston Park our design response was to: create a greater sense of place through a gateway play sculpture space, soften and integrate existing play areas with Informal, turfed and native planted play banks , install sculptural seating and shelter  associated with existing play and BMX facility, carry out site drainage to restore performance of ball pitches, and by so doing create a wildlife wetland feature, use drainage excavation to create a BMX track, and install inclusive, landmark play equipment  lit by  Solar lighting standards.

The result

Our consultations with the community were effectively focussed into the successively resolved proposals, which were successfully presented to the community and received their endorsement. The schemes is now being developed into a detailed proposal with our project partners Touchwood Enterprises. The plan is to continue community involvement throughout the project implementation phase, through on-site public design and making workshops, developed in a close working relationship with skilled bespoke play design-makers. The plan is to implement the six play landscapes on site by spring 2009.

play concept designpriority planningplay masterplan

All material © Westley Design 2008