Award for Culzean’s new kids playpark

Culzean Overall design plan.
Culzean Overall design plan.

It was playtime for heritage and conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland’s Culzean Castle and Country Park with its latest awards.

Culzean’s innovative and fun Adventure Cove play area came top in Play Category of the Making Space Awards 2016.

Making Space is an international award for excellence in the design of spaces for children and young people.

Judged by a panel, which includes architects, children and young people winning entries each received 500 Euros and were showcased at a major international conference which preceded the awards ceremony.

All entries, including Culzean’s, will feature at an exhibition in March 2017 at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Making Space is part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. It is managed by Children in Scotland in association with the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland (RIAS), with support from the Scottish Government, the Scottish Futures Trust, and Taylor Wimpey.

The award in the Play Category was accepted on behalf of Culzean by Caroline Smith and Hannah Teasdale and was presented by Pihla Meskanen, Director, Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth, Helsinki, Finland.

The ceremony was attended by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.

The National Trust for Scotland’s Chief Executive, Simon Skinner said: “The Adventure Cove play area at Culzean has been hugely popular, attracting tens of thousands of kids and their parents since it opened last year.

“It is fantastic to see it get recognition through the Making Space award, especially as the judging panel contained some of the children and young people it was designed for.

“The play area is deliberately modelled on the castle and inspired by elements of its story. As well as helping to motivate more visitors to come to Culzean we have found that, having played on the Cove’s ‘battlements’, families with children are curious to visit the Castle. Many of them had told us that they had previously assumed that the Castle was ‘boring’ and ‘staid’.

The Adventure Cove has been so successful that more investment is planned to double its size with a woodland play adventure. This will be suitable for older kids and will focus on the rich natural heritage that exists in the country park.