westley design | inclusive landscape architecture

Springfield 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. Springfield Park is an extensive area of grass and tree clumps bounded by woodland and residential developments overlooking bath. Slopes made the existing under 8 play area inaccessible and created security problems for the games court.

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. Our design response at Springfield was to: use earth modelling to open access and views to existing court, create BMX track with spoil from earthworks, create spine path and install solar light standards, supply and install youth shelter and surface, linking to key inclusive play element,  install surface and free play elements beneath existing tree canopy for natural/adventure play.

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 planprioirty planningplay masterplan

All material © Westley Design 2008