Jane’s Pond builds multi-level flexible space for climbing and teaching
Gloucestershire-based urban and natural play specialist Jane's Pond has installed a new playspace in a narrow infill space at Soho Parish Primary School, in the heart of London's West End.
By building a multi-level structure, Jane's Pond has been able to make the most of this cramped site. The series of spaces – kitted out with ropes, nets, decking, storage boxes and green spaces – provide flexible all-weather play and teaching spaces.
A large multipurpose deck at first-floor level can be used for teaching and assemblies, with a vantage point over the ground-level ball-games area and a trapdoor down into the playing cubes. Glulam-timber cubes provide challenging climbing spaces that encourage creative play, and a 'hang net' is suspended underneath the deck as a space for children to literally hang out.
The removal of the existing high iron gates on Great Windmill Street, and their replacement with strong nets and glass screens, has opened the school up to the street and the local community.
Jane Bain, director of Jane's Pond, said: 'This challenging project has been an exhilarating journey of creativity, collaboration and sheer pleasure. An outdoor green and fun space for children to laugh and learn in, to exercise and explore and to make powerful enduring memories in. The school wants to make their presence known in the heart of Soho and be a visible presence.'