St Andrew’s College is on a tree-clad site, in the central Christchurch suburb of Strowan. In early 2018, the new Stewart Junior Centre opened consisting of innovative facilities and a bespoke playground for Pre-school and Junior School students. Truly unique, the play spaces had to embody the college’s core learning philosophies and provide interactive, creative and challenging student experiences. A bespoke design approach was used to inspire children to explore their world while supporting physical and psychological development. As the Preparatory School’s Principal says: “Anything which challenges personal development is encouraged, as this leads to increased confidence.”
The result shows the landscape architect’s creative vision and a child’s paradise. A vibrant and fully customised environment, created through close collaboration with designers from Jasmax and play consultant, Tina Dyer. The space provides a developmental journey for students aged 2 to 7: from the colourful ‘Play Eggs’ mounds, with tunnels and bridges, through to the climbing adventures on the Junior School’s ‘Play Forest’ that includes a ‘Crow’s Nest’ (and three-metre slide), ‘Rope Nest Monster’ and ‘Chirping Nest’. These areas include safety finishes such as colour surfacing and shade sails, striking a perfect balance between challenging play and safety.