What Are We Building In Kambia?

In collaboration with the Kambia District Foundation, we are here in Kambia designing and building a playground that will double as an outdoor learning space for the Simon Jen Primary School in Masama, Sierra Leone.

The Simon Jen Primary School is a purpose-built school in the heart of Masama (one of the oldest villages in Kambia) for children aged 4-11 (although the age range seems to be more like 3-16!)

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However, at the moment, the school has no playground or space dedicated to sport and outdoor play. At CAUKIN Studio we believe that playgrounds are spaces where children flourish; ‘Open space allows children to be physically active and challenge themselves so they sleep and eat well and form healthy habits that will stay with them for life.’

Our design proposal is comprised of a series of timber frames housing different play activities. The main themes of working with the trees, verticality and a simple materials palette, come together to create a trail and series of platforms within the trees forming an interactive multi levelled area.

Ask any adult to recall their best play memories. These were almost always outside – often in natural surroundings – with friends; exciting, social, creative experiences often high in anticipation.  

Choosing to use a minimal material palette allows for the design to be clearer, in both its function and construction. The simplicity of the materials and the type of space that comes to form allows for a greater level of imaginative play with built-in opportunities to take risks, enabling children of different ages to play together.

Joshua Peasley