Interactive play space to open at The Exchange Ilford
Capital & Regional has announced that it is teaming up with US play space experts Playtime to create a new 118 sqm children’s area at The Exchange Ilford.
Playtime’s European expansion strategy is to focus on centres that see families and children as central to their offer and to work with these centres to develop custom projects that reflect the design of the centre.
The ‘’Ilford Wild Cubs Freeplay’ will be the first modern, custom-designed play area to be designed for the UK by the Denver-based market leader. Each of Playtime’s creations are hand sculpted, coated and hand painted and provide unique play experiences for indoor, outdoor and water locations.
The play area at Ilford will have a Savanna wildlife theme, featuring animals’ sculptures such as an interlinked giraffe and baby, lioness, elephants and meerkat mounds. Along with log ramp, the creatively-shaped pieces will provide a variety of ways for children to climb, balance and tunnel through.
Tech elements have been integrated into the design to provide a contrast to the active free-form play. A wall-mounted Matrix Wall Panel will feature an interactive LED lighting system that responds to human touch with changing colour, brightness and patterns. There will also be an interactive art panel for painting, drawing and puzzles.
The Ilford Wild Cubs Freeplay will form part of the shopping centre’s family zone which includes a new parent & baby room with private feeding rooms, toddler toilets soft seating and play areas.
C&R and Playtime are currently developing plans for further bespoke play areas in tailored family zones across the portfolio.
Brooke Rowlings, Special Projects Manager, at Capital & Regional said: “A key part of our ‘community’ shopping centre strategy is to provide best-in-class family facilities, so that everyone can come and enjoy time together.
“We are thrilled to be the first UK shopping centre to feature a modern Playtime installation, bringing together global best practice in terms of design and function. This eye-catching and distinctive facility at The Exchange Ilford is sure to be enjoyed by our younger visitors and families for many years to come.”
Julie Fitzsimmins, Director for the European Activities, at Playtime, said: “It’s been great working in collaboration with Capital & Regional to bring immersive experiences and new design concepts to their community shopping centres.
“Working with our wonderfully creative Denver-based designers, and the European delivery team, we will ensure that the play areas have a positive impact on the centres’ performance, as well as deliver a whole host of family fun.
“This project has been designed to work at scale to accommodate large numbers of children at peak times. It is also unique, and custom designed in a contemporary Savana style to echo the work Capital & Regional has already completed on the family room and facilities.”
Located in the heart of Ilford, opposite the train station, the Exchange comprises over 90 retailers including Debenhams, M&S, TK Maxx, Next, H&M, New Look, Wilko, Pandora, Sports Direct, and more.