Wild Kingdom Playspace
Providing imaginative natural play in an urban context
The Wild Kingdom is a unique and distinctive natural playspace on Three Mills Green, Newham. The scheme combines a variety of play structures that together bring a sense of unexpected adventure and imaginative seasonal change to the newly created landscape on the Green.
It is a place where the imagination is sparked: where the natural meets the artificial and unexpected. By using natural and reclaimed timbers, ropework and limited catalogue play items, the proposals ensure sustainable playspace construction, whilst providing local young people with an opportunity for access to nature. The ‘playable planting’ scheme also encourages interaction with natural play materials.
The design adopted a strategy of ‘opportunism’ in proposing play provision for this site, for example, making the most of the play possibilities of the previously created landforms. Capitalising on these opportunities has also allowed the modest project budget to be maximised.
The project was the first legacy project to be delivered after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Alongside the physical proposals, We Made That were also responsible for an extensive programme of expanded engagement proposals developed specifically in order to embed the new play facilities into their surrounding communities. In this isolated location, we were immediately aware that in order to activate the site and change perceptions of a previously underused space it would be necessary to go beyond the normal role of an architect.
A programme of engagement activities running before, during and after the build of the playspace have encompassed den building sessions, bulb planting, young people’s construction, wider digital and print material promotion and celebrations events. A dedicated project blog was used to communicate project progress and advertise events.
This commitment throughout the development, delivery and beyond completion of the playspace has led to it being a well-used and well-loved asset.
- London Legacy Development Corporation and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
New London Awards 2012: Public Space Award (Winner - Olympic Stitching the Fringe projects)
We Made That, Stockdale, Free Play, Europa