Norwood Park Playground

Norwood Park is one of the highest points in Lambeth and offers sweeping views over South London.The new water play area is an extension to an existing equipment-based playground located on the top of the hill.
Norwood Park Playground

The design of two gently sloping mounds linked with a timber bridge exaggerates the existing hilltop topography. The mounds embrace a generous partly sand-filled sculpted valley and shelter it from the prevailing winds. Purpose designed play structures, climbing features and sand-and-water play elements are embedded in this landscape to provide a multi-level play offer with a higher degree of complexity.
The high point and visual focal point of the play area is the play tower, which offers bird’s nest views from an outlook platform at high level. Water is contained in a water storage barrel near the top. The first level of the play structure is accessible from the mound and offers climbing, sliding and water play activities and musical instruments.
Playing with mud, transporting, shaping and building with sand and water brings together all age groups, providing interest even for adults. The water and sand play offers children the opportunity to engage in ‘real’ work and encourages creative and co-operative play by enabling children to work together and engage in self-initiated ‘projects’ and games.
A Changing Places facility was installed in the existing park building to allow families with a severely disabled family member to spend longer periods in the park. Post completion the site was assessed together with parents of disabled children and a series of small-scale improvements added responding to specific needs of local people.
Location: Lambeth, Hackney
Client: LB Lambeth
Cost: £300,000
Status: Completed 2010
Playground design and architecture: erect architecture
Structural Engineer: Tall Engineers
Play safety: Play IT
Contractor: RCP Landscaping and Grassroots Play
Photography: James Whitaker, erect architecture