Playscheme & Ruth Willmott Associates design £340,000 playground for Westminster City Council
The Paddington Recreation Ground is a playground that Westminster City Council can truly be proud of! This £340,000 imaginative play space is packed full of creative and interactive features, including a steamliner, a train, a tunnel, playhouses, musical instruments and more.
The playground at Paddington was a year in the making. Our brief was simple: to create a space that would bring a variety of physical activities and creative play fun for children of all ages, abilities and needs – something that would entice them, their families and their friends back to Paddington again and again.
Paddington Recreation Ground is managed by Everyone Active on behalf of Westminster City Council. Our talented playground design team worked closely with co-designer Ruth Willmott of Ruth Willmott Associates, Westminster City Council’s Physical Activity, Leisure and Sports (PALS) team and the Everyone Active General Manager, Cheyenne Green, to make sure Playscheme’s bespoke playground design met their needs every step of the way.
The end result was four main parts to the playground; infants, juniors, teens and a sensory play area.
Made in the UK
The playground pieces for Paddington were lovingly made at our workshop in Elvington, near York, before being carefully transported to site in London.
From the seven pastel-coloured playhouses of Beachcroft Gardens terrace, to the 8.5-metre long steamliner ship, we carefully crafted every piece.
Real-life details were brought to life at every opportunity. For example, we used our in-house CNC machine to fashion the precision-cut steam clouds that rise out of the steamliner’s chimneys.
Robinia hardwood is used for a lot of our playground equipment, and Paddington was no exception. It’s solid and tough, making it perfectly suited for the rigours of playground fun and the British weather!
Click through the pictures on the right to see the playhouses and the steamliner move from our workshop to the playground
Play equipment for children of all ages
As well as the steamliner and playhouses, Paddington Recreation Ground is full of features for children of all ages.
For teens, we built a huge 22.8m x 14m x 4.9m Robinia wood forest play unit around the existing trees, and added a roundabout turntable, more swings and a four-seater see-saw. We also gave the existing zip wire a new lease of life.
The sensory play space was designed for maximum accessibility, with a pretty pergola, sensory panels, and a range of musical instruments.
And, of course, there’s nothing to stop the older children making use of those wonderful playhouses!
The finishing touches
We use a range of playground surfaces for maximum safety and visual impact. For example, the steamliner sits on top of a beautiful wet pour rubber surface, which is a bright blue complete with marine wildlife! These surfaces are always popular – not least because they can be created in all sorts of bright colours and designs. They’re also far more forgiving on childrens’ knees than concrete, and stand up well to British Winter weather.
Site signage and a visitor map put our final touches to five months of work on site at Paddington. Every day – even the freezing Winter ones – was worth it to see our bespoke playground designs become a reality. We're extremely proud of the end result. It’s been wonderful to see children of all ages enjoying the brilliant community space that is the Paddington Recreation Ground!