The Big Playground is our response to the unique needs of ‘Enfieldians’. The personae of the Enfieldians were developed through on site interviews and people we have known through our lived experiences as Londoners.
The Big Playground is a community sandbox designed for people from every generation to come together regardless of age or ability, in the belief that play and community are essential to wellbeing.
The Big Playground disrupts expectations of public housing by offering units in a range of different sizes and configurations to accommodate families large and small.
Modular, open-plan arrangements allow cohabitants to assist older loved ones without sacrificing autonomy or dignity, while making efficient use of space. Green spaces, community services, and energy-efficient technology will offer residents opportunities for creative, constructive play and healthy interactions with the community.
We created a high-density, low-rise development to justify a mix of uses that address the common needs of a diverse community. This includes a health centre to provide local care, a rooftop coworking space for young parents, live-work units that accommodate alternative living and retain a culture of making specific to the Lea Valley, a community-owned high street, and circular strategies such as a waste-fueled power station to generate affordable heat and energy; beekeeping spaces; and allotments to encourage activity and biodiversity.
Volume vs Area
Current housing is based on outdated minimum standards tailored for nuclear families.. However, people live not in 2d drawings, but in volumetric, three-dimensional spaces. It’s only once we start to think about housing volumetrically that we can start to create culturally specific, needs-based housing that supports the wellbeing of its users.