With extensive expansion at Ashford Designer Outlet themed around ‘The Garden of England’, McArthurGlen were looking to create the ultimate play experience that complemented the living wall theme.
The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford is undergoing a £90 million expansion, introducing 50 new premium and luxury brands, new food piazza and will feature Europe’s largest living wall structure. As part of the expansion, McArthurGlen were looking to redesign their children’s play area that complemented the living wall ‘Garden of England’ theme, had a WOW factor centrepiece and delivered the ultimate play experience that visitors from around the world could enjoy and keep coming back to.
The playground equipment needed to include interactive elements, sensory equipment and be suitable for all abilities and children aged 1-10 years old.
Location: Ashford Designer Outlet, Ashford TN24 0SD
Date of Installation: June 2019
Age Group: 2-12 years old
Product Range: Robinia Hardwood, Rope Play (Corocord)
Project Value: £400,000
KOMPAN designed a bespoke ‘Garden of England’ themed playground that has been brought to life through bright flowers, butterflies, giant grass blades and an abundance of greenery forming a natural extension of the Living Wall deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for the younger visitors.
The new playground has space for more than 200 children to play at one time.
Tower – a unique 7m tall robinia play tower
To create the ultimate WOW factor and meet the needs of the brief, KOMPAN designed and installed a bespoke 7m tall robinia tree house, with play experiences from the very bottom right to the top! The rope and steel tunnel provides a thrilling route to the top where children can look out at the rest of the playground in a truly unique viewing platform. At the very bottom, there are ‘chill out’ spaces with a flat swing and smaller spaces to socialise in, after running around. The tower is constructed from organic robinia wood which supports the natural theme of the living wall.
Smart Playground – mixing technology and learning with play!
The playground features immersive augmented reality play experiences. Using augmented reality, children will be able to scan QR codes on the playground equipment to find the KOMPAN app ‘Play Gate’ which based on Hans Christian Anderson fairy-tales. When the app is opened their favourite fairy tale characters ‘magically’ appear on the playground, sparking their imaginations and opening the door for themed play.
Children can explore the tunnel and mound or enjoy the slightly elevated playhouse both inspiring social play. Children can jump, hop or walk over the wetpour boulders and climb through the Corocord Rope trail structure with the long blades of grass challenging their balancing skills or play games such as ‘the floor is lava’. The inground trampoline is perfect for running into and jumping out of.
As part of the expansion Ashford Designer Outlet will be introducing more disabled and family car parking spaces, as well as a Changing Places Facility, to ensure all guests enjoy an excellent experience when visiting. The new playground delivers a world-class play space for children of all abilities and includes wheelchair accessible equipment to ensure every child has equal access to the best play opportunities.
"We are thrilled to have launched our hugely anticipated children’s playground. It has been fantastic to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they explored the equipment. We hope the new playground delights our little visitors for years to come, as guests experience the family-friendly offering available.”
Centre Manager at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford
Ashford, Kent , England