Client Brief: Playground Canopy
Redgate Primary Academy
13m x 13m
Part of Diverse Academies Trust, Redgate Primary Academy is a specialist school in Mansfield, supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
It’s crucial that all schools provide an area of outdoor shade for their students, and that’s especially true for schools that care for high numbers of disabled children.
As a school that places a great deal of value on outdoor education, Redgate was struggling to make use of their playground all year round – we all know how the British weather can change suddenly from being sunny one minute to a heavy downpour the next.
We were contacted by the school to supply and install a playground canopy that would enable not outdoor play but also be able to access the outside environment for reading, eating lunch, reflection time. Children love to play outdoors and with a playground canopy, they will stay active outside for longer if they are protected from the weather.
There were a number of complications on this project, not least the requirement to install the playground canopy in a mostly enclosed courtyard. The ideal play area shade is one that minimises the number of posts within the play space, however the size of the area we needed to cover was large at 13m x 13m which reduced some of the shading options. At this size, a sufficient drainage plan is required to prevent pooling.
In the event, we modified our Fontwell tensile fabric conic gazebo by making the structure taller than normal. This meant that the cone sat comfortably above the surrounding buildings, allowing for rainwater to be directed onto the roofs and gutters of the buildings.
The playground canopy is a cost-effective building extension for the school, a permanent area of shelter that can be utilised all year round for any use.