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Holistic design for children’s play area

Photography: Dreamsnaps Photography

Ahmedabad-based Bowers Studio has designed Toy Joy Tales, which is a children’s play centre emphasising creativity to create an experiential journey for children. The client is a young couple, parents to two, who identified a need for recreational opportunities for children. They wanted to create a play area exclusively for the children that prioritised safety and education enrichment, while fostering holistic development through innovative play.

The two-storey play area is designed for children aged 0-12 years, beginning with a frontage decorated with a large digital screen. It is conceived as a canvas for artistic expression, featuring a dynamic play of random lines symbolising the diverse orientations of a child’s mind. The focus was to optimise and increase the play area through multiple levels, diversifying the range of experiences. Inspired by the tales of two young adventurers, Toy and Joy, and their forest exploration, the design takes one through an abstract forest with immersive activities.

Upon entering, the reception area blends peachy-pink, black and white tones. A plush sofa invites one to relive one’s inner child, and the use of pastel colours balances fun and refinement. Initially spanning 2600 sq. ft. the area extends the first floor into a 3500 sq. ft. play area on multiple levels, and the pathway features vibrant colours and interactive audio-visual elements suited for small children. It integrates physical and sensory stimulation, and inspires children to explore, learn, and enjoy.

Toddler tunnels are designed for the youngest visitors, which is a labyrinth within a labyrinth, offering a sense of wonder. One also finds a space-themed adventure area with spaceship cars that transport children to new realms of imagination, along with educational home-inspired pretend play areas.

The floating mezzanine, the hanging netted space, and the vertical ladders add excitement and encourage children to push their limits. The play area also has the target game, the foot piano, beehive maze, floating podiums, and the tapping game that sharpen children’s cognitive and motor skills. Interconnecting mezzanine walkways made from transparent acrylic at various levels enhance the visual connectivity of the space, allowing guardians to watch their children. The space unfolds into a banquet hall on the second floor to host parties and gatherings, along with a café and a soundproof glass partition.

A pocket spanning 700 sq. ft. is punctured to create a double-height vertical space for play equipment. It is a three-dimensional maze where adventure happens through aeroplanes, cars, mazes, and trampolines.