Putting the smile back into playtime!

John O'Driscoll, our Commander and Chief has has the pleasure of being featured in the Metro newspaper this week. The article (found below) discusses our latest project at the Kite Park Playground and some of our future projects. Make sure you check it out!

View the article here

or click here to learn more about our work on Kite Park Playground


Build Up are recruiting!

Build up logo

Build Up, the charity we set up, is recruiting again! Can you design and build, and can support young people lead change in their community? Apply for Build Up's Project Lead position by 31/5/19.

Full details at buildup.org.uk/joinus


Wallowing in the Mud!

Hello APES supporters! Hope you are fine and dandy, nay dandified. Here are some images of our stalwart engineers, wallowing in the mud. They were working at Cody Dock, clearing the silt from the side to the middle of the River Lea. Why, you may ask? They need to support the foundations of a huge frame that will take the river's complement of floating pontoons and the tide is low. It's messy work, but all part of Cody Dock's sterling efforts to build a working river for everyone. Just don't get stuck!


Mint Street Update

Howdy APES fans! Hope you are having a wonderful end of week. Begone January, the worst month of the year; behold February, a slightly better month! We are a bit ill at the mo, so to cheer everyone up, here are some wonderful images of the guys' work at Mint Street, Enjoy!



Ave, APES fans! You wait three months for a post, then four come along at the same time! Here's a link to a YouTube video from a couple of years ago, part of the RHS' Greening Grey Britain campaign, with a look at the institution's efforts at Cody Dock. You can see our engineers hard at work, helping to regenerate a post-industrial wasteland and making it bloom. And look, there's Nick Knowles!

The RHS at Cody Dock


Grove APG maintenance

Actually, maintenance can be attractive: here are some pictures of Grove APG in Brixton, where APES is bringing the sexy back to some of our existing work via the application of a little TLC. Enjoy!


White City, no limits

The White City Play Project has been named London Adventure Playground of the Year 2014. At a packed ceremony held at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, White City, one of the capital's newest adventure playgrounds, triumphed in a highly competitive field.

APES sponsors this category and provides the prize, so with the help of the playground's users, we will design and build a new structure for White City and donate £500-worth of materials.

We would like to congratulate all the winners and highly commended finalists. For more information, visit London Play and check out YouTube.


Water, water everywhere

Our engineers have been busy installing new water play equipment at Oasis Adventure Playground in Stockwell, South London.

The structure uses a hand pump and a turbine, offering children more power to their elbow.

Sensory play is a vital part of APES' work and plays a profound role in stimulating children's creativity, paying dividends cognitively and emotionally.

It's not just water: we also build accessible structures with musical features and create habitats that allow kids in the city to get in touch with nature via the use of sand and earth.

The realm of the senses is a crucial environment for children's play and we know how to traverse it.


After the days of summer have gone

To mark the changing seasons, APES' leader John O'Driscoll has co-organised a German-style shindig with the folks at Cody Dock, to be held on 27 September.

"Septemberfest", APES' answer to Oktoberfest, will offer visitors tasty morsels of food, plenty of German beer and a mixture of DJ sounds and live music. Families are welcome, with doors opening at 2pm. Entry is free (but bring the attached flyer to gain admittance), although donations will help cover the event's costs and support Cody Dock, a charity that aims to regenerate a deprived part of the capital.

John celebrated his 50th birthday at the venue, a triple birthday bash held in May with two of his friends, and was keen to replicate the experience.

He said: "We had such good fun at our collective birthday party, so we thought we'd do it all over again. Here we go!"

We hope to see you there.


Refined Pallet, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

APES has completed work on the Pallet Pavilion, a pop-up that harnesses surplus material from local construction sites to provide a temporary structure for community use in Barking Town Centre.

The pavilion will play host to a variety of events over the summer, including the Lost Picture Show, which will transform the town square into an outdoor cinema with a big screen and deckchairs; Parkour workshops; plus a host of activities for children and young people, including a pantomime. The Pallet Pavilion offers a community canvas for arts, crafts and food activities.

John O'Driscoll, director of APES, said: "This project was a real pleasure. A special mention for artist and designer Kiran Chahal, whose vision and energy pushed the project to fruition, and to Barking Council, which was a joy to work with."


APES bearing gifts

Kids at Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground have been swept off their feet by new structures provided by APES, SWAPA’s prize for winning London Adventure Playground of the Year 2013.

Donating £500 worth of material, APES worked with the kids to design a series of elevated structures and obstacles, so now they can play without touching the ground: who needs gravity anyway? With construction complete, the children can travel from the existing large rope swing around to the playground slide via piles of tyres, balancing logs and planks, rope tunnels, bridges and monkey bars.

John O’Driscoll, director of APES, said: “We are really pleased to be able to make a top playground even better. We get kids involved in the design of all our play structures – after all, they are the experts – so this award was a perfect fit for us.”

He added: “The London Adventure Play Awards offer vital recognition of the difference play makes in the capital, and it’s a privilege to be associated with them.” The awards, run by London Play, are inviting entries for 2014. The deadline is 17 September: click here to apply.


APES puts best foot forward for Kew

Adventure Playground Engineers is pleased to unveil the fruits of its partnership with Kew Gardens: the Barefoot Walk trail. It uses mud, water, rocks, wood chippings and tree stumps to offer visitors the opportunity to feel the benefits of nature's healing properties.

John O’Driscoll, director of APES, says: “This project is very close to our heart. APES has an established interest in sensory play, apparent in the many high-profile adventure playgrounds we have built, so we were a natural partner for this project in more ways than one. It has been an honour working with Kew and we’re proud of what we’ve produced.

“The trail provides natural reflexology, an invigorating experience that benefits body and spirit. It offers adults the chance to revisit their carefree, childhood days playing barefoot, and gives kids growing up in London the opportunity to kick off their shoes and mess around in nature.”


The Pleasance, Putney, London Borough of Wandsworth

APES has completed work on the Pleasance, Putney, a job commissioned by Wandsworth council. The project called for the provision of play opportunities that utilised the natural environment. The Pleasance was the medieval site of a hunting lodge belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury and has retained its woodland appearance, providing a quiet open space for local residents. As such, prefabricated play equipment was inappropriate, but the green designs APES has become famous for were ideal.

The structures include a teepee-style bench, a basket swing and an extraordinary oak frame. The site also benefits from a root ball donated by Kew Gardens. Thanks to the APES team, a site of great natural beauty and respite from the city will now benefit from a beautiful play space for local children.


Glittering prizes

The Timber Lodge and Tumbling Bay Playground has taken home the honours at the Civic Trust Awards 2014.

The project triumphed in the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design category, named for the architect Selwyn Goldsmith, author of the seminal Designing for the Disabled: The New Paradigm (1963) and founding figure of the "universal design" school.

A team of judges including Keith Bright, emeritus professor of inclusive environments at the University of Reading, and Simon Turton, director at Aperis Building Consultancy, described the scheme as "the focal point of the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park" and appreciated its "rich play landscape", which "creates a wide range of play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities".

Congratulations to all the partners on the scheme, especially Erect Architecture, BAM Nuttall and Frosts Landscapes.


Stoneydown Park, London Borough of Waltham Forest

APES has completed work on the play structures for the Stoneydown Park site in Waltham Forest.

The project was developed in partnership with Friends of Stoneydown Park, a local volunteer group that works with the council’s Greenspace team to maintain the site.

As per APES' environmentally friendly MO, the structures are built from recycled material, featuring: a locally donated piano; an oak tree uprooted during last year's autumn storms; hardwood timber donated from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park project by our partners BAM Nuttall and Frosts Landscapes; plus a rock table sourced from the Tumbling Bay Playground (another donation from Frost). Thanks guys!

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