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WHAT reveals Thornhill ‘outerspace’ scheme

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] WHAT Architecture has unveiled these images of its £600,000 children’s play area scheme in Islington, north London

Currently under construction, the project for Thornhill Primary School converts a derelict Victorian building into art studios and a play area.

The two-storey facility features a seesaw gate, ‘early bird’ seating and a wall slide with the entire ground floor given over to children’s play.

A short distance from the main school building the stand-alone ‘outerspace’ structure mimics a piece of ‘over-scaled’ play equipment.

A statement from the practice explained: ‘In order to better integrate the building into its play con­text, the refurbishment works considered the building as over-scaled play equipment.

‘In schools a fence is a visual and physical barrier to play yet with this project it was considered as having a playful, learned and fun side.

‘The deep fence contains a: seesaw gate, early bird seating, wall slide whilst the building itself has art classrooms cantilevering from the main structure with a slide doubling as an emergency exit.’

Project architect Magda Szerla added: ‘The consultation process tried to engage children through “architecturalising” board games such as Snakes and Ladders where snakes become emergency fire escapes and ladder are stairways with contrast nosing for the visually impaired.’


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