City school’s rooftop play­ground a hit


A Christchurch pri­mary school is turn­ing heads with its in­ven­tive school de­sign.

Angli­can pri­vate co-ed school Cathe­dral Gram­mar’s new­est ad­di­tion, a rooftop play­ground, adds to the award-win­ning school’s de­sign, and the kids love it.

Tight for space, the in­ner city school on Park Ter­race has built a new play struc­ture on top of its ju­nior school build­ing.

The play­ground is an ad­di­tion to the rooftop slide which won the ar­chi­tects, An­drew Bar­rie and Tezuka Ar­chi­tects, sev­eral awards in­clud­ing at the In­te­rior Awards and the De­sign­ers In­sti­tute of New Zealand Best De­sign Awards when the new build­ing open­ing in 2016.

The new play­ground, pri­mar­ily aimed at year 1-3 pupils, was the brain­child of Pip­pin WrightS­tow of F3 De­sign.

Span­ning 20-me­tres in length and reach­ing more than 4m at its high­est peak, the struc­ture is con­tained so chil­dren will not climb out the top.

‘‘It was quite a chal­lenge com­ing up with a play struc­ture that re­solved the com­pli­ance is­sues and added some­thing sym­pa­thetic to the beau­ti­ful build­ing,’’ Wright-Stow said.

‘‘We didn’t want any­thing that felt too heavy or bulky.’’

Prin­ci­pal Scott Thel­ning said the de­sign, which was in­spired by the South­ern Alps, made the most of the rel­a­tively small deck­ing play area.

‘‘As an in­ner-city school, our space is at a pre­mium, but we have 46-hectares or so of play ar­eas across the road in Ha­gley Park and all sorts of won­der­ful cen­tral city learn­ing re­sources, such as the mu­seum and art gallery, on our doorstep.

‘‘We wanted to en­hance the chil­dren’s use of the area by build­ing a struc­ture that is played in, rather than on, that’s fun to use, and iconic,’’ he said.


The award-win­ning rooftop slide at Cathe­dral Gram­mar.


Cathe­dral Gram­mar’s new rooftop play­ground.

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