Play Space - Harrison
Our client approached us with a unique request – their teenage son Max is autistic and needed a place to play.
They successfully applied for a grant toward their son’s lifestyle and development, and wanted a trampoline to encourage some physical activity in a safe place. The family also includes an older daughter at university and professional parents, keen to do the best for their children.
We started with a west facing side courtyard space that was run down and unused, partly due to the slope of the land and also because of the afternoon heat. The site falls about 1.8 metres from front gate to rear gate, with door landings at two different levels.
On the positive side it had good access, some well established trees and hedges, and was ideally positioned for overlooking from the kitchen and living rooms.
We developed the design in conversation with the client to incorporate the new trampoline they had bought and a generous new outdoor living space. Site constraints included the existing trees they wanted to keep for shade and levels of the existing timber landings.
The trampoline was set at a level that allowed for drainage to flow by gravity via buried pipe to a lower rear garden. This determined the paving level, which in turn was perfect to accommodate all the fill from the trampoline pit excavation. We modified or extended the existing timber landings to meet the new paving and finished the upper edge with a stone seat wall.
The layout follows the straight modern lines of the house and continues its colour scheme in off white pavers and stone.
On the day we were stringing up the trampoline Max was waiting for his first bounce. He has bounced on it literally every day since. The effect on his physical health has been dramatic – losing weight, gaining strength and muscle tone, as well as improving his coordination and abilities on the trampoline. The knock on effect for the family is immeasurable.
More of a surprise is the whole family now enjoy using this space – especially at night or in the mornings. We managed to create a sophisticated outdoor living space on a relatively small budget. They expect to use it even more in winter since it is a great evening heat trap.