The project came out on top in the Community and Schools Development category at a ceremony in London last week. LUC designed the children’s playground after a 16 month process of fundraising spearheaded by the local community and The Friends of Calverley Grounds group, in collaboration with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The design concept for the playground was inspired by its setting within the Grade II registered historic public park of Calverley Grounds, the wider setting of Royal Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding Wealden countryside.
All the elements within the play space are designed to capture the unique essence of the location. The serpentine sand pit and planted borders are inspired by the stream that once ran through the Calverley Estate and through this site; play water tables celebrate the Chalybeate Spring which gave rise to the development of the town as an important spa, and timber playhouses evoke the early beginnings of The Pantiles that sprung up around it.
The Kentish rag stone boulders and woodland-style planting represent the encircling common with its famous sandstone outcrops, and the hand-carved oak sheep represent the animals that once grazed the slopes. The surrounding farmlands, Kentish orchards and woodlands are depicted by a tractor and trailer and grid of apple trees.
The project has previously achieved two other awards – Civic Voice Community Design award winner (2018); Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Community Award (2017).
Landscape Insight has previously spoke with lead landscape designer Jennette Emery-Wallis about the design of the playground.