Shma: This ‘Play Field’ was proposed for a new kindergarten playground for Shrewsbury International School. The existing playground was ‘defined’ with traditional all-in-one play equipment, which ways of play is limited and does not much encourage child brain development. Aiming to break through this typicality, the architect introduces a more appropriate play space for young.
The new playground should enhance their exploration senses and social interaction which would assists child development. The design offers a generous and flexible ‘Play Field’ that can accommodate a range of outdoor class activities. Various ‘Play Pods’ are placed randomly on the field creating a more intimate space with different character defined by the shape of 1.2 m. high wooden partitions. These comprises of ‘Swirl Pod’ that mimics the experience of moving though snail shell, ‘Island Pod’ which encircled with water plant, ‘Herb Pod’ to develop smell sense with Thai Herbs, ‘Classroom Pod’ with roof for gathering of the whole class, and ‘Sand Pod’ for their all-time favorite sand play. The partitions are high enough for children to create their own world yet allowing teacher to see inside for safety. Circular hole at intervals reinforce another layer of space interaction. The third element of the playground is the ‘Bicycle Track’ which meanders between these pods and sometimes cut through the pods to provide fun rides for their bike class.
Green colour tint of the rubber floor (EPDM) is chosen to simulate the feeling of playing on a lawn. This also improves the overall environment which is more pleasant to children’s sensitive eyes than typical strong primary colour flooring. All existing trees are kept for their shade and shrubs are selected for their variety of texture quality highlighted with ‘Iris’ which move softly along with the wind and ‘Elephant Ear’ which feature an upright giant leaf that is easily surpass the height of the pupil. It’s an ultimate play garden experience.
By exploring the playground, children are facing with constantly changing spaces from inside to outside, from not being seen to being seen, and from private to public with endless possibility. The Playground will perhaps prepare them the exploring sense and develop their social interaction skill which is vital for their future.
Landscape Architecture: Shma
Site Area: 900 sq.m.