The Wooden Jungle Gym
The Wooden Jungle gym, Karachi, Pakistan
19.94 sq metres
The wooden jungle gym is located in a garden of a private residence as a place for kids to play, move and rest. The children of three families get together to play in this garden every afternoon. The clients came to us wanting to create a small play space for their kids inspired by the metal jungle gym which they grew up playing in. The brief was to create a space which would allow the client’s grandchildren to climb, jump, explore and have fun, but in a material that was soft to touch and would weather well in Karachi's hot sun and salty sea breeze.
This simple structure is designed using minimal materials to create an atmosphere of openness and play. Using a concrete pad for the foundation, hemlock wood and plyboards for the structure and floor levels, rope for a climbing wall and swing, sand for the base floor, and local khaddar fabric (hand-woven natural fiber cloth) for the soft furnishings.
This structure is designed to incorporate multiple pretend play experiences, allowing for an exciting sensory exploration that would tap into the scope of the child’s imagination. It is divided primarily into three levels where the base is a soft sandpit with the first level being a child-size crawl space through the sand, emulating a tunnel. The levels above are a juxtaposition of a fortress, monkey bars, a climbing grid wall reminiscent of traditional jungle gyms, and a balcony treehouse at the top level. One of the walls is a net made of rope, allowing for different ways of climbing up and down. The last element for play is a small wooden swing hung with white rope at the entrance. Children can enjoy the different elements through numerous routes and spatial experiences.