Considering tasking Theories Landscapes with a playground design project in East London, North London, South London or West London? Good choice! Our natural playgrounds are filled with exciting, bespoke school playground equipment and will tick every box on your wish list. On this page, we’ve explained how the playground design process works, and given a few examples of past projects we’ve completed for nurseries, receptions, primaries and secondary schools.
After receiving your call, we’ll offer an introductory visit to your site. If you live within the East London, North London, South London or West London, this initial visit will most likely be completely free. Be aware that clients further away may have to pay a consultation fee. During this first meeting, we’ll listen to what you’re looking to achieve and get out of your new, reinvented playspace. We can show off our playground design portfolio, which features many examples of fun and creative natural playgrounds we’ve built throughout the capital and further afield, highlighting examples of similar projects we’ve tended to. This may help you get a better understanding of how we can help you.
At the end of this visit, we’ll hoped to have figured out a way forward. We’ll discuss a playground design strategy with any interested stakeholders, from teachers and school staff, to governors and the children themselves. This will take into account the strengths and opportunities your placespace affords, and any weaknesses/barriers that need to be overcome, like the removal of existing school playground equipment (e.g climbing frames).
Playground Design Phase
If you decide to work us, we’ll then sit down and agree a fixed playground design fee, before pushing forward into the planning phase. If a fixed fee is not appropriate in your situation, we’ll likely agree an hourly playground design rate of £50 per hour (certain factors can cause this rate to vary slightly). We’ll ensure that all parties are 100% clear on what is to be achieved and how much time we expect to go into the preliminary stages.
Note that planning perfect natural playgrounds, from the school playground equipment like climbing frames and adventure trails, to seating areas and pathways, takes time. The best examples of playground design around East London, North London, South London and West London aren’t a result of guesswork and hasty construction!
Issue of Contract
Once the playground design phase has been completed, we’ll draw up a fixed price contract for the building phase. Upon signing said contract, we’ll request a detailed instruct that will show the order in which work is to be completed. We can help East London, North London, South London and West London clients with this stage should they require it.
Then we’ll provide you with a programme of work and conduct a Health and Safety Assessment. Next up, we’ll organise the site work so we know exactly when each element of your new natural playgrounds will be developed, from the groundworks to the introduction of school playground equipment.
Our trained, experienced staff will then go about the main event – the construction phase. Please keep in mind that while we do carry out playground design work for clients throughout the UK, clients a fair distance from East London, North London, South London and West London will have to bring in external contractors, as we only carry out the construction of natural playgrounds within the M25 area.
We go about the work in a fundamentally different manner to competing playground design and build companies. Our team endeavours to make the development of natural playgrounds a wholesome, educational experience for school staff and children alike. Some aspects of our work may be able to become fun events for the children to observe and participate in, while the more technical aspects of the project (essential items like laying groundworks etc) will be carried out in a quiet, clean and undisruptive manner.
We usually wait until the construction phase is over before drawing up a planting design plan, and carrying out the planting itself. This is so we can collectively better visualise the type of planting that will best suit our natural playgrounds, and complement the school playground equipment inside them.
Payment – Interim invoices will be submitted during building works to cover the costs of completed work. We urge clients to pay said invoices within 28 days of issue, before they begin to accumulate interest charges as stipulated in the aforementioned contract.
Many of our East London, North London, South London and West London clients bring us in to carry out regular safety inspections of their natural playgrounds and maintain specific pieces of school playground equipment, like timber climbing frames. Far from being “just a playground design and build company”, we provide a great degree of aftercare. This includes replacing and repairing any piece of playground equipment that is damaged due to unforeseen circumstances.
Below, we’ve run through just a few of the different playground design concepts we’ve delivered for clients in East London, North London, South London and West London. While each of the natural playgrounds we design and build is wholly unique and bespoke, we hope that our portfolio can help you formulate ideas, about which kinds of school playground equipment might best suit your soon-to-be play space, for example whether or not to incorporate timber climbing frames.
Birchwood Nursery – A fantastic example of what natural playgrounds bring to the table, the playspace we built at Birchwood Nursery incorporated buckets, pulleys and decked areas to create a multi-level setting that’s great for creative playing. It also featured a sheltered and educational area.
Princess May Nursery – This was a significant project that saw us redesign Princess May Nursery’s entire outside space, aiming to establish an exciting and engaging play area. Our playground design featured climbing frames / features that ran between a tarmac playground and a raised natural area, complete with shady trees. The finished product featured a play zone, seating area, animal pens, music features and dens.
Millfields Nursery – This East London nursey enlisted us to update and re envision a plain and underused tarmac space. We brought in bespoke school playground equipment including a climbing tower and balance beams, setting them alongside planting beds, chalkboards, a bike track with markings/traffic lights and various decorative features.
Larkswood – We used an assortment of the most effective features of natural playgrounds to create this exciting reception playscape. A large open sand play area was the main focus of this project. To each side of this space, we placed timber decking set at different levels. These meet at a bridge which runs over a toy track, ending at a climbing tower (complete with poles to slide down). There are dens beneath the decking, and trees/planting have been incorporated within the playground design to keep it nice and natural.
Osmani – Here, the reception area is sectioned off from the main playground through the use of an interactive log fence. This feature includes music installations and counters, and sections can also be climbed on. The main area itself features a staging area, seating and planting, showing how you can create fantastic natural playgrounds without over relying on run-of-the-mill school playground equipment.
St James – A South London reception with a keen eye for playground design, St James had us create an artificially turfed play area complete with wall games and mirrors, a stage/performance area, various nooks and crannies to dart in and out, and a dividing wall to separate it from the wider playground.
Chestnuts Primary School – This North London primary school chose Theories Landscapes to complete a three phase playground design programme that looks to completely reinvent a tired and boring junior playscape. So far, we’ve delivered phase one. This involved creating an integrated performance deck, complete with seating and a colourful shelter structure. Nearby satellite decks serve as additional play areas.
Lady of Lourdes – A large curvy play deck with circular satellite decks, this is only phase one of a push toward enhancing Lady of Lourdes’ playground. It’s simple, yet makes the otherwise flat play area a lot more dynamic and fun to use. Complementing the play deck is a stage, seating and walkway. We also carried out resurfacing.
Natural playgrounds can also be a great fit within East London, North London, South London and West London secondaries, where the school playground equipment can get more ambitious and challenging (climbing frames get bigger and more complex, for example).
One past example of secondary playground design saw us establish a parkour course that encouraged pupils to spend more of their spare time between periods active and getting valuable exercise. A 3m freeform climbing structure centred this project, and stood alongside a series of running structures and a twin-trampoline bed.
If you’re inspired by any of the above projects we’ve completed around East London, North London, South London and West London, or have completely different ideas you’d like to discuss, be sure to get in touch with us. We specialise in creating exciting natural playgrounds, for all age groups, filled with school playground equipment precisely tailored to your requirements.