In order to build our first ever buildings, Play Arc and Play Barn, for the London Borough of Newham, we formed a design/build company called Interplayce. Subsequently the Play Centre was built with Hawkins/Brown reverting to a traditional architectural role.
The first two buildings were delivered as a ‘turn-key’ package with a contractor including all the play equipment, and specialist furniture.
The buildings used repeating glulam portal frames stiffened by the cladding to create a repeating, modular form. There were 20 variations of the layout within a module between the glulam arches so the client could simply pick any number or type of modules and ‘clip’ the building together.
Twenty years later we are still putting buildings in the parks around Newham. As the funding agendas have changed, so the building uses have changed: from play to a wider community and training use. The client has changed from the local authority to Community Links, a voluntary sector, charitable institution but the users and the children’s needs have remained consistent.
The later buildings include 3 Mills Training Centre, Newtown Community Resource Centre and Play Buildings in West Ham, Plashet Park and Canning Town Parks.