Play in the Bearpit

2 (1) 1449526477922 3 (1)Play in the Bearpit, Bristol (United Kingdom) 2016

University othe West of England

We were appointed by the Bearpit Improvement Group to design a series of interactive play elements to go alongside the development of the site. The overall aim was to make the Bearpit a diverse and inclusive community space. With the £4,000 – 5,000 budget, the design had to focus on simplicity and remain sensitive to the site, whilst appealing to the wide audience.

Tyres were chosen as the main material for the play elements as they are recycled, durable and fit with the character of the Bearpit. The tyres were manipulated in three different ways to produce individual interactive play elements connected through a sequence.

The vibrant sound step tyres are integrated with the level change of the site. The light tyres create interesting patterns of through perforations in the play feature adding to the atmosphere of the site. The trampoline tyres made using weaved bicycle inner tubes draw in attention and promote engagement with the site through simple play.

The narrative focuses on imaginative play and exploration of the site through a journey of zones.

Marble runs and colourful floor graphics are used as connective elements and give the users a learning experience through informative wordplay flowing through the site.

This idea has the potential to grow and disperse across the site through the installation of additional related play elements.

Client: Michael Buser, Bearpit Improvement Group

Students: Dhaval Hasmuclal, Emily Chappelle, Jessica Bettesworth, Lee Huey Ling, Mike Daley, Stephen Nicholas Olecho

Research Question: To explore the role of temporary architecture in encouraging people to ‘stay and play’, with the aim of regenerating less successful public spaces.

Links: Hands On Bristol


Architecture, Initiated by institution, 0-10, Months, Self-funded, Postgraduate, Propositional, Curricular, Students, Bristol, Urban Design, West of England Univ.