Somerstown Adventure Playground

A Deer Park Alpha project. We were approached by the Portsmouth City Council to research and design an innovative play space. The playground, incorporating a small building, opened in summer 2010 to rave reviews. The final design is the result of an intensive research and community involvement stage. We visited all the playgrounds in the city and spoke with play-workers about what worked and what did not work. We visited several playgrounds in the UK, Denmark and France. We then carried out a series of workshops across the city that involved children, parents and play-workers.

They were asked to build ‘The best playground in the world’ from a large van full of junk that we provided. We watched and recorded what they did and asked them to draw and write their ideas, many of which were hastily made in junk.

We compiled all our research into a comic book briefing document. This document captured all the ideas and dreams for what was to be Portsmouth’s sixth adventure playground.

Informed by our research and consultation the design gives over most of the site for children and play workers to self-build their own play structures over the coming years. This gives the community ownership and ensures that get the sort of dare-devil features they want. Small hills provide play opportunities, as well as planting beds, sand and water features and more traditional play equipment such as a tyre swing and a Dutch disk.

Here you can see the Playground Website


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