Bespoke Play Unit, Lakeside Play Area, Heaton Park

Challenge

Following the success of the space themed Northern Play Area, installed in 2016, Massey & Harris were approached by Manchester City Council (MCC) to design the centrepiece play unit for the new Lakeside Play Area at Heaton Park.

MCC requested a nature inspired piece of equipment that would provide height and climbing challenges giving a wide range of children a daring and exhilarating experience.

Solution

Massey & Harris took inspiration from growing buds and seed pods to create two striking play structures with 4 and 5 metre high decks. A series of lower treehouse decks lead up to the Bud towers providing a wide range of play features. The surrounding trees inspired the design of the lower decks with its abstract trunk, created using laser cut steel, and a canopy crafted from Robinia timber panels.

The climbing features become increasingly challenging as you move up the decks. The journey starts with a small chain net, crazy climber and incline climbing wall. To cross to the highest deck you navigate a tricky wavy bridge. The lower decks are fitted with a bannister rail slide and fireman’s pole and the impressive Bud towers both have large stainless steel slides attached: a steep drop slide from the 4m deck and an exhilarating spiral slide from the 5m deck.

Massey and Harris also manufactured a lower, wide trough embankment slide which was installed onto a rock stack next to the play unit.

Result

The design of this impressive play unit sits beautifully within its natural setting and provides a wide range of challenging and exciting play for children, stimulating development and delivering lots of fun.