GORILLA role summary:
We have successfully completed the build of an extraordinary play fort at Warrender Primary School, Ruislip. GorillaUK and the school agreed on the design of the play fort based on previous play forts we have built for children at schools in Stamford and Chalfont St.Giles.
We were asked to look at how the school could use an area of redundant land, it was unsuitable for most activities due to its undulating nature, however, it was perfect for the building of a play fort.
We started to plan the layout and general concept in March 2020 but due to lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions design work was delayed until November of the same year. At which time we began a ground services search, sourcing of timber, the logistics of getting the timber onto and around the site, and commenced sawing and machining the timber ready to begin the installation.
Gorilla’s team of technicians and engineers devised several ways of using this considerable amount of wood, before settling on plans for a large frontier-style wooden fort, with two raised towers, two raised battlements and a canopied area at the back.
Footprint – 40m total length, located on a corner and standing 3m tall
Timber used – 150 rough-hewn larch trunks to build the imposing palisade
4 – week design and choosing the lengths of birch from Burghley estate
12 – week installation
The fort now stands atop a hillock in the school’s grounds and has proven to be a huge hit with the pupils.
“We are delighted with our new play trail. The GorillaUK team were brilliant from the concept, through to completion. Rather than trying to push a pre-planned, ‘off the shelf’ style of play equipment, GorillaUK took the time to speak with us to really understand the brief and budget. The fort not only met the brief but far exceeded it in terms of capacity (number of children who could access it at one time) and allowing imaginative play.
Throughout the build, GorillaUK were happy to make refinements and modifications to ensure the final build met all our needs. The GorillaUK staff were discreet and respectful whilst on-site and accommodating around school activities.
Despite originally being requested to build a fort for Key Stage 1, the final product is both accessible and engaging for all Primary year groups, from EYFS through to Key Stage2. The children love it!
Now completed, the fort is a real jewel for the school and a real selling point for prospective parents.
Thank you GorillaUK!”