Vertical Playground – Soho Primary School

The Challenge

Following the success of our Adventure³ designs, Jane’s Pond approached us with a structure concept for a small playground location in Soho, London.

The idea was to build a vertical playground on the small footprint to vastly increase the opportunity for play for the children in this central London school location.

The scheme was ambitious and full of planning and design issues. With so many parties involved (and a restaurant in the vaulted space below the playground) the project was an intense exercise in design and cooperation

The Solution

The design of the Cubes was developed with a significant amount of consultation and sharing of information with material suppliers and net manufacturers to ensure the exact manufacture of the cubes to fit the limited installation space.

Once the design was signed off and the structural engineers were satisfied that the footings and connections to the party walls were all in order, the manufacture of the English Larch GluLam Cubes started and the play features were sub-assembled in our workshop ready for shipping.

The Result

The delivery and installation of the Cubes required road closures, hiab vehicles and a Spider Crane to get everything in place before the installation could even commence.

Despite the tight space, the Cubes fitted exactly as planned and when the final top Cube sections were lifted in place, they were within 8mm over the overall height of 7.5m … particularly satisfying!

Massey & Harris glazed the top Cubes with toughened, laminated, 2m panes of glass.  These were also fitted without a hitch and looked fantastic.

The installation attracted a huge amount of local interest: passers-by offered their guesses as to what the structure was going to be including new offices for Architects and a Swedish type home!

The end result was stunning.  The school now had a multi-level vertical playground consisting of nets, platforms, a trip door up onto a deck with seating and a performance space with planting and glazed panels.

It was a time consuming and often complicated project, but a truly rewarding one to be part of.