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Warrior Square, Newham

Client: Newham London Borough Council


Cost: £217,000


Date: May 2024


Genre: Inclusive, Challenging, Community

A New Start in Newham!

The play area at Warrior Square, in the London Borough of Newham, was no longer equipped to cater for the active, diverse local community surrounding it – a situation which led Newham Council to seek an experienced partner to help transform the space. We were delighted that our plans to create a dynamic, modern play park were selected, and eager to get to work on bringing our exciting vision to life for the benefit of the entire community.

We began by conducting a thorough site survey, and finalising a design which gave due consideration to every requirement within the brief. The finished area would feature a wide array of thrilling, inclusive equipment which facilitated socially fulfilling play, and enabled multiple users to enjoy a communal experience which would engage both body and mind. In line with the brief’s desire to offer a broad appeal to the whole community, we also planned to segment the available space, and create dedicated infant/toddler and junior/youth areas.

A Natural Fit

The equipment needed to be easily maintained, sufficiently robust to withstand the rigours of daily use, and vandal resistant – we were keen to ensure that every item we selected would meet these requirements. Alongside the new equipment, a number of natural elements would be included, such as planters, boulders, and mounds sustainably fashioned from materials excavated during the installation. This multi-sensory, natural element would grant the area a relaxing, serene quality, and make for a notable contrast to the urban surroundings.

We began by removing numerous items which were no longer fit for purpose, before introducing safe, consistent and colourful wetpour fleck surfacing. We also avoided unnecessary wastage by repurposing the existing fence, giving it a fresh coat of paint, and using it to clearly demarcate the infant/toddler area, which was then packed with exciting equipment.

Welcoming to All

The largest, most eye-catching of these comes in the form of our Shop and Slide, an inclusive metal climbing frame with ten play features, including a range of engaging play panels at or near ground level – ensuring inclusivity for those with restricted mobility – including mirror, shop, abacus, puzzle and binocular panels, as well as a metal slide and multiple crawl/shuffle decks. It is surrounded by a selection of thrilling items – amongst them, our Emoji Discus, which brings a bright and modern ‘emoji’ aesthetic, and is able to accommodate up to three children of all abilities within its accessibly-shaped rotating dish. Meanwhile, our upright metal Hula roundabout brings more spinning fun, resembling a suspended hula hoop which allows one user to position themselves inside whilst another spins the unit, and can also be used alone.

Elsewhere in this area, two attractive seesaws bring plenty of balancing fun: our Inclusive Group Seesaw comes in a ‘Bug’s Life’ theme, with colourful critters displayed on its panels, and its open design and large central platform offer plenty of sitting and standing opportunities, whilst a cutaway panel on one side allows easy side transfer for less mobile children. Nearby, our ‘Morris the Car’ themed springie seesaw lets two users balance on a colourful themed character, with robust construction and seats made from grip texture HDPE.

For children who prefer to take to the air, a fantastic array of swing seats can be found across a number of our extendable modular swing bays. A pair of comfortable Pod seats hug the body of the child as they swing for added safety, whilst two flat Bumper seats feature a rounded edge and offer a more traditional swinging experience, and a group Turtle Shell seat brings a communal experience. Finally, a specially shaped Inclusive Swing Seat is specially designed for access by children with disabilities.

The area is finished with many seating options for children and adults alike, with a pair of our charming, colourful Blossom tables, positioned at an appropriate height for wheelchair users. They’re joined by Bean and Pea Pod seats, and set amongst the flora of the planters, making for a relaxing social experience for all (the greenery having been freshly planted by young visitors themselves, in a fantastic grand opening event in May 2024).

Meeting the Challenge 

Meanwhile, the nearby Junior/Youth Area is filled with exhilarating, challenging items to stretch the abilities of older children. The most visually striking piece is a free form Single Point Swing, with up to five children able to swing on its central flat rubber seat (which features an impact absorbing safety edge). Alongside it, a 20-metre aerial Cableway allows users to enjoy an exciting zip back and forth, and a surfboard shaped Wipe Out balancing board tests the balance and co-ordination of two children aged 8-15. Our Space Trainer rotator brings some spinning fun to this part of the play area, too, allowing a user to stand atop its central metal ring, hold on to its handlebars and spin themselves using their own centre of gravity.

An additional unit, sure to test older users, completes the space. Our Quad Climber metal climbing frame is configured to create a circuit of physical play elements, with 15 activities in total including a pole climb, side shuffle bridges, rope bridge and climbing ramp, and requires strength, coordination and balance for up to 25 users to fully traverse it.

Exceeding Expectations

Nicola Mackie, Parks Operations Manager for Newham Council, said ‘The new play area is a massive hit with the local community around Warrior Square, who have felt neglected for such a long time – it’s great to finally give them something positive!’

Our work at Warrior Square has revitalised the play opportunities afforded to local children in Newham. Its age-appropriate areas and specialist, durable equipment come together to form a playground with huge appeal, and we’re proud that children of all ages, genders and abilities from across this community now have a fun and welcoming space to call their own.

Playground Equipment:

Shop & Slide

Shop and Slide

Emoji Discus

Emoji Discus

Hula Rotator

Hula

Group Seesaw

Inclusive Group Seesaw

Morris Springie Seesaw

Morris Springie Seesaw

Pod Seat

Pod Seat

Bumper Seat

Bumper Seat

Inclusive Seat

Inclusive Swing Seat

Blossom Table

Blossom Table

Bean Seat

Bean Seat

Pea Pod Seat

Pea Pod Seat

Single Point Swing

Single Point Swing

Cable Ride Ramp

Cableway

Wipe Out

Wipe Out

Space Trainer Rotator

Space Trainer

Quad Climber

Quad Climber

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