Kilburn Grange Park Adventure Play Centre

The new play centre is part of a new adventure play park. It provides internal as well as covered external playspace. It is also a short breaks centre for special educational needs children facilitating overnight stays.
 
The site is the remainder of a Victorian Arboretum in an existing park. The overarching theme is playing in and around trees.
 
The building is a continuation of and addition to the landscape - in its materiality, spaces, views and function. Its undulating biodiversity roof is a natural extension of the landscape, which dominates the scheme. It responds and caresses the adjacent trees, dips under them, feeds them its water.
Large roof overhangs frame the landscape and articulate the entrance whilst protecting outdoor play. The canopy is supported by natural tree columns. It frames views and embraces the landscapes.
The timber frame building is a continuation of the tree story. The main internal play space is an abstracted ‘tree room’ dominated by a large tree column from which the primary structure branches off. The column is oversized for the children to carve into. Natural light filters between the beams to create an atmosphere of being under a tree canopy.
The building is part of a wider play landscape, also designed by erect. Together with the Building Exploratory we undertook a comprehensive community engagement programme pre-, during and post construction.
The project won a RIBA Award 2011 as well as the international Children’s Making Space Award 2010.
Location: Kilburn, London
Client: London Borough of Camden
Cost: £950,000 including playpark
Status: Completed 

Awards:
Camden Design Award, winner
RIBA Award, winner
Children Making Spaces Award, winner
Making Spaces Award, commendation
 
Architecture, landscape, play design, community engagement: erect architecture
Legacy project: The Building Exploratory
Project management: Developing Projects
Structural engineer: Tall Engineers
QS: Huntley Cartwright
Contractors: Kier, Adventure Playground Engineers (play structures)
Photography: David Grandorge, Robin Chanda, Step Haiselden, erect architecture