Amazing multi-unit playhouse climbing frame playcentre in Essex

What an amazing project to work on!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been encamped just outside of Colchester. There was a lot of preliminary design work, the customer in this case had a very clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. We were able to bring our flair for interpretation and design to the project, working within the customers brief, and being respectful of their desires whilst adding good ideas, tasteful and exciting design and an ability to make dreams come true.

Way back in September i first visited the garden near Colchester. The area was flat but other than that it was pretty awkward. There were big surface roots and (and more hidden just below the surface). On the other side of the laurel hedge at the back was an 8ft bank, up which most of the materials had to come, including nearly 320 bags of woodchip.

No matter what the size, we work in pretty much the same way with all our projects. Usually I’ll make a site visit. Years of experience in designing wooden garden play centres has proven that nothing beats standing in the space, armed with pictures, a pad a of paper and some ideas. Being able to look at the space enables me to to see the opportunities offered by slopes, level changes, awkward corners, trees and so on. Although it didn’t apply on this occasion, in smaller gardens it may be that the proximity of boundaries and neighbours has to be taken into account.

Once we have an initial idea it gets drawn in 3D CAD. As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. As well as the illustrative perspective views we always include a 2-D dimensioned plan view as well.


This project took about 2 weeks of installation on site. We like to get as much made in our workshop as possible, but with something of this size and uniqueness there is always some hand crafting on site.


Despite being November, we were fortunate the weather was good for a lot of our time on site.

I took a few moments out when the project was in its latter stages to take a walk around the project and have a chat with the rest of the team.



A nice sideways view looking down the length of the playcentre, and emphasising the spiral tube slide and the Hex tower. We like to use cedar shingles where we can. This shot also shows the nest swing under the bridge.

And the finished article. Looking stunning with the crisp look of the woodchip safety zone.