ROLE: Concept to Completion
CLIENT: St John’s Church Hoxton
Background & Objectives:
Before we were invited to work with St John’s Hoxton on this project the play area, in front of the church, had been locked and was not in use due to safety concerns. Much of the surface material had broken and the pieces of old plastic play equipment were damaged and unsafe. The area was enclosed by tall 1.6m metal railings and surrounded by mature London plane trees.
Our aim was to redesign the area to create a cohesive, fluid, multi-use play space for the whole community to enjoy, incorporating natural play equipment, seating and an area for seasonal tea stall.
The challenge was to create an exciting new space that respected the existing heritage of the site, while meeting the varied needs of a modern community church. We responded to this challenge by employing the sensitive use of classic materials including York Stone, London brick and natural timber. We worked closely with the Church, heritage and arboricultural experts and bespoke play equipment designers to produce this scheme.
Groundwork’s fundraising strategy for this project was very successful, securing £110,000 towards the capital costs. We also ran a successful crowd-funding campaign with the church and the local community, raising over £15,000 online.
The new playground has proved a huge hit with both children and adults. It is open to the whole community, 365 days a year and attracts many people from the street or who use the church grounds as a through-route. It has become a welcoming social space, where the church community and wider community gather and enjoy.
It has re-energised the space in front of the Church and brought the community together, both in the development and fundraising for the scheme and in the enjoyment of the completed playground. Revd Hunter, Vicar at St Johns said, “We’re tremendously pleased to have worked with Groundwork over the last few years, and especially for their fundraising support, which has made this project possible.”