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Innovative new play space in KillybegsPlaytime Latest

11/07/2014 – Innovative new play space in Killybegs

It isn’t often that children get to have a say in the design of their own playgrounds, but when they do, amazing things can happen!
Playtime is delighted to see that the beautiful new play space designed by Peter Tansey of Lotus Architects is open for play. His design was selected through an open competition to design a new playground and civic space for the town.
Killybegs is an interesting fishing town in County Donegal and the playground is right at the harbour, lined with trawlers and fishing boats. The playground overlooks this fascinating view and the entrance to the park includes a concrete relief map of the local coastline. 
The competition for the playground design was conceived and overseen by the Irish Architecture Foundation who describe the new play space as innovative and adventurous; “structured around gently terraced platforms, linked by slides, steps and a mirrored tunnel”.
It is a beautiful space which offers children scope to explore and play exactly as they choose. Among the more innovative features are the curved mirror pillars, the subtle string of lights overhead which light up the space by night and the various climbing structures made of wood and rope. It also includes a big hit with children - a zip-wire which runs the full length of the playground.
Playtime was engaged in the competition process to share our expertise on children’s outdoor play. We ran a consultation process with the children of the town, asking them what they liked to play, and how they would like to see their new playground. That consultation informed a brief we wrote for the competitors on children’s play. As the competition progressed the children were consulted on their favourite entries and Playtime represented the children’s views on the judging panel. When the winning entry was chosen, we were involved in a workshop with the children during which they gave feedback on how the design was evolving. It was wonderful to be involved in a project where children’s views were at the heart of the work and their input was so sensitively incorporated into the design.
The new play space at Killybegs is very much one of a kind; a bespoke playground full of subtle detail where children can spend hours lost in deeply absorbing discovery - having lots of fun!
Thanks to the Irish Architecture Foundation for the use of the image. You can see more photographs if you click here.