westley design | inclusive landscape architecture

Woodhouse 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. Woodhouse Park is a small green space, containing an under 8 play area of traditional play equipment sited in hilly, wooded suburban landscapes. An unmanaged wooded clump between dwellings created security problems and the park had been subject to vandalism.

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 Woodhouse our design response was to: crown lift the clump to improve inter-visibility across the site, site free play and timber climbing play for 8-12 and older amongst the trees on the clump, create informal physical boundaries if any, between age groups, soften boundary profile of under 8 play space with willow planting/play, install solar lighting standards throughout area, and open up routes to back of flats.

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 design

All material © Westley Design 2008