Designed by LUC, the Tumbling Bay playground was developed to be a destination play area within the Queen Elizabeth II Park, created for the 2012 London Olympics. Part of an emerging community, the park and play area were one of the first things completed, and over the years that followed the area has been heavily developed, with many housing blocks, retail centres and cafes.
The concept behind the development of the café and play area is based upon ideas of succession and lifecycles.
The Tumbling Bay play area includes extensive sand and water play. The benefits of this kind of provision are well documented, supporting understanding of scientific principles and promoting social play.
The water play area was created to reference many different types of waterway, through a series of rivulets, channels and canals all created within the surface. Playground pumps are used throughout, and lock gates give children the opportunity to halt the progress of the water.
The landscaping is a huge part of the success of the play area, with banks, loose fill surfacing, and carefully selected plants to reflect the ecology theme all contributing to creating a beautiful play space. Large sculptural elements also support the development of a distinctive personality for the site. Germinating willow pods provide great hidey holes or dens, and jumping discs, balance blocks and rotating beams provide an informal obstacle course. A network of alternative paths provide playful route options for children.