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Belvue School Playground

Design: Studio Fink
Location: London
Date: 2013
Size: 400m x 400m
Materials: safety rubber surface, landform , timber, tarmac

The project involved the re design of the external communal spaces in a school dedicated to the education of young people with global learning difficulties and associated complex needs including Autism spectrum disorder, mental health, Down syndrome, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and communication and sensory difficulties.

As a dedicated ‘Inclusively designed’ outdoor space the design enables and empowers young people with special education needs and disabilities to participate fully in the life of the school through creativity, play, sports and social interaction. The research by the artist has established that the understanding of social and educational needs of young people with global learning difficulties is yet to be expressed successfully in the design of external spaces, making this project a valuable and pioneering undertaking. The project further extendis the impact of the adjoining Northala Fields project through the incorporation of the overgrown Northala into the school grounds as a “ Magical Forest”. Originally under the auspices of the Highway Agency as green infrastructural planting next to the A40 the extensive woodland was legally transferred to the school as a safe and protected unique landscape in support of imagination, creativity, social interaction and education.

The delivery of the project involved a close collaboration of the artist and the schoolteachers, pupils and parents.

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