King’s School Wildplay

Encouraging young boys to take risks in their play

Kings School in Remuera is located on a spacious, sloping site with beautiful mature trees and vibrant mix of historic and contemporary buildings catering for 700 boys from age 4 – 13. As well as the manicured gardens and sportsfields, the boys are fortunate to have a wonderful, steeply sloped woodland with huge mature trees; a perfect canvas for imaginative and creative play. Boffa Miskell were engaged to re-invigorate an older play area under the trees, re-imagining it as a ‘wildplay’ experience

The ‘Wildplay’ playspace is designed on the premise that young boys thrive when they experience a sense of adventure, excitement and perceived risk in their play. We wanted to build and expand on the imaginative play already happening on the ground and invite the boys ‘up into the trees’ with a challenging aerial rope course, tree hut tower and slide.

The large play elements are connected via a nature play adventure trail with timber steppers, stilts, natural logs and balance elements. The trail also leads to a large spider web net doubling as a hangout spot to take a break from the action on the playspace and watch the tennis courts below.

Some key goals of the new playspace design were to:

* Provide a framework for complex, collaborative, imaginative play
* Encourage boys to test their limits and savour success
* Increase physical literacy and resilience
* Develop strength, agility and balance through play

* Incorporate music and sound as an outdoor play element (rainbow samba drums and talk tubes) to tempt reluctant players into the space
* Offer a wide range of play experiences: climbing, sliding, balancing, swinging, jumping, sound and rhythm
* Provide a challenging canvas for social games such as ‘tag’ and ‘floor is lava’, with multiple routes from top to bottom of the site

Construction of the playspace will begin in Spring 2020, ready for an influx of eager boys when school reopens in February 2021.

Our role

Concept design, detailed design and project management of construction implementation

The facts

ClientKing's School
Project teamAynsley Cisaria
Luna Cheng
Sarah Collins
Project date2019 - ongoing