© Underdog Heavy Industries 1969-2011
Chapel Street Nursery School
Chapel Street Nursery had a large rectangular area,
mostly laid to tarmac, and enclosed by the large
chapel building or brick walls, that they were hoping
to develop into a play area for children up to the age
The brief included an outdoor classroom for art and
craft activities, bike track, a large play structure
with active and balancing elements, music and
sympathetic planting. The school was also keen to
ensure that plenty of shady areas would be available
as the area tended to be a sun trap.
We felt that the site really needed a lot of different
routes to break up its rectangular nature as well as
the addition of plants and colour to make the space
The centre of the site we filled with an activity tower, with many different pathways running through and over it,
including a long climbing ramp and a tunnel right through the structure. Music elements, role-play counter and
seating were also included. We thoroughly decorated the tower; in some places using the children’s designs.
We also designed and built a shelter to provide an arts space. We really went to town with this as we wanted it to
be inviting and inspirational whilst containing all the practical elements to make it useful to the staff and children.
We produced a light and airy structure with lots of colourful windows and a dramatic wavy roof. Blackboards and
whiteboards were designed and added to make the walls usable; you can see the blackboards in the image to the
Some of the children sculpted models of various
modes of transport such as buses, trains, boats etc.
We then made casts of these to produce ceramic
pieces which were added as decoration for the large
shown below. You can
see a larger
image of this planter in