Adventurous Playgrounds in Camden, London, by Erect Architecture and Wayward

To encourage physical activity in London’s Borough of Camden, erect architecture and Wayward have designed a series of active, adventurous places for Camden schools.  I’m particularly pleased to see that for this project they’ve partnered with University College London’s sports scientists to conduct a study that “monitors any change in pupil activity levels before and after the installation of the new active spaces. This will provide important data for understanding the drivers for physical activity.”

Since I am a scientist in ‘real-life’, I’m continually amazed at the lack of real data surrounding playgrounds, particularly data that helps understand what type of spaces and constructions actually drive physical activity.  I’m as excited to see the results of these studies as I am to see more of erect architecture and Wayward’s great work!

From the  erect architecture website:  “The London Borough of Camden has one of the worst childhood obesity rates in London, with a third of all ten year olds being classed as overweight or obese.  Camden Active Spaces project is a ground-breaking initiative to deliver challenging and intriguing active spaces to several Camden schools with the specific goal of increasing pupils’ physical activity levels as a preventative healthcare initiative. erect architecture with Wayward engaged in thorough consultation with pupils, teachers and parents to target the most inactive user groups and inform each unique design. Together with pupils narratives were developed for the active landscapes to draw in inherently less active or confident children through games of imagining and roleplay. “

At Torriano Juniors School the Earthling kingdom nestles in a landscape of mounds into which an earthquake ripped climbable crevices. Earthlings explore the overgrown ruined city, which has fallen into their landscape as they move around a wide variety of routes. “

The Torriano Infants School playground has become the cloud kingdom. Cloud creatures emerge from a dense undergrowth, bounce from one trampoline cloud to another and scale up into the sky in the white cloud climbing structure.  

The Carlton Primary School playground has been settled by a new community. Its rapid growth has resulted in a vibrant collection of overlapping dwellings that form a complex urban landscape that its inhabitants must navigate every day.

At Acland Burghley Secondary School we explored the students’ relationship with ignored objects across the playground. The picnic lawn is a subversion of the only exiting feature in their existing playgrounds – the picnic bench. It is enlarged, stacked and distorted to create a parkour and climbing landscape.”  

2 Responses to “Adventurous Playgrounds in Camden, London, by Erect Architecture and Wayward”

  1. Paige Johnson said:

    Hi Jennifer! I’m working on a post on this…more news soon. But I totally agree that we could push more innovation if we simply had proper data on how it affects the quality of play!

    June 05, 2015 at 10:56 am

  2. Jennifer Butler said:

    Couldn’t agree more with your comment about lack of data on playgrounds. Any suggestions for where to look? It’s hard to push for design innovation these days without some supporting facts.

    June 04, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Leave a Reply