Rooftop garden play area, Caxton Works, Royal Docks, London, 28.06.17

An exciting urban redevelopment
Caxton Works, also known as Royal Gateway, is a 2.2 acre mixed-use redevelopment to regenerate the former Goswell Bakeries building in Canning Town, London. The development is a mixture of commercial, residential and retail situated in the centre of the capital forming part of a much larger redevelopment of The Royal Docks.

Five new apartment blocks make up the residential part of the development with 336 exclusive apartments and penthouses. Within the bold architecture of the apartment blocks there are recreational courtyard areas for the residents including landscaped rooftop gardens and terraces.

Sculptural play on urban rooftop playground- The Roller Coaster.

The brief- Play area for an urban roof garden
Liz Lake Associates, the landscape architects working on the redevelopment, were looking for play features for the rooftop community garden that would complement the modern industrial feel of the architects design. The equipment should provide a play facility for children and at the same time enhance the attractive outdoor recreational space used by all the residents.

The landscaped area spans two stories and features exclusive podium areas with a central open space formed by curved raised beds. Each of these spaces providing a setting for a unique play point.

Helix from the Silhouette range in urban rooftop play area.
Armadillo- sculptural, stainless steel, play unit from Silhouette range.

A sculptural and playful solution
Liz Lake chose play units from the Russell Play Silhouette range, an ideal solution for this scenario. Silhouette was specifically developed to work with more urban play areas that feature modern architectural design concepts as well as traditional play parks. The curving shapes of the beautifully crafted stainless steel enhance all environments and are enjoyed by both children and adults alike. They add a point of sculptural visual interest that residents of all ages will view in all seasons from their apartments or while out on the roof garden.

For children, a good range of physical activity is included in the Silhouette play units forming an ‘abstract trail’ throughout the rooftops. Climbing, balancing, swinging, hanging and sliding as well as anything else their imaginations can dream up.

Roller Coaster play unit in urban roof garden as seen through raised beds.
The sculptral and playful Domino- a play point on the roof garden.

The Silhouette pieces help transform the communal space into an aesthetically pleasing sculpture park for all as well as a fun play area for children. More than just providing physical activity for children they also give a place for them to gather and socialise in a safe place dedicated to play. The curves of the units echo the curvature of the walls, surfaces, paths and the planting in contrast to the angular shapes of the skyline and apartments.

As well as the play equipment the green rubber surface of the play areas combines well with top quality artificial grass and the bed plantings to form a cohesive look to the whole roof terrace.

Although the stainless steel Silhouette range is perfect for this setting it is also available in a wide variety of powder coated colours making their application to different environments even more versatile.

Climb, swing, balance and hang on the Armadillo urban play unit.

Snake- a great balancing play point and an interesting park sculpture.

Rooftop installation knowhow
Russell Play was appointed with calculating, engineering, designing and fabricating the fixing method of the equipment onto the roof surface. Being a rooftop installation it has specific considerations distinct from putting units into –generally deeper- terra firma to ensure stability. The use of wetpour rubber safety surfacing and ‘flexi pave’ -which has extremely good drainage properties- helps to reduce any surface build-up of water.

The stainless steel Silhouette range is perfect for this setting. Silhouette products are also available in a wide variety of powder coated colours making their application to different environments even more versatile.

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