Presenting Pensthorpe's Perfect Playspace
One of eibe’s most imaginative play projects in years has come to fruition in the picturesque Wensum Valley, located in the heart of Norfolk. Pensthorpe Natural Park is an award-winning attraction, with stunningly beautiful gardens, some spectacular wildlife and, now, a magnificent indoor adventure play area! Pensthorpe really is the perfect day out for families and friends.
The “Hootz House” scheme was an innovative concept, designed to bring the outside, and the world of nature, indoors. The huge barn is crammed full of fantastic robinia play equipment, offering a world of play amidst natural looking timber. Cosmetically beautiful, the new addition is sure to increase Pensthorpe’s burgeoning reputation as one of the country’s leading leisure destinations. Certainly, if the recent Open Day is anything to go by, children will be entertained for many hours when they visit Fakenham’s finest.
It was in April 2014 that consultant David Chidlow first met with Pensthorpe owners, Bill and Deb Jordan. The whole ideal of bringing nature indoors was one that eibe could relate to and immediately looked at product ideas and cosmetic designs. Working alongside Drew Payne and Mark Noble, Project manager and Commercial Manager respectively, the tagline of “Adventure Play, Nature’s way” started to formulate. A trip organised by design director, David Hibberd, to one of our impressive European indoor centres at Burger Zoo in Holland gave further food for thought in terms of impact and utilisation of space.
“Our clients got to see first-hand how we can design and build a magnificent indoor adventure playground. It was a privilege to work on such a fantastic scheme from the outset. From a design perspective, we had to ensure the equipment was not only tailor-made, but aesthetically pleasing and entirely new,” explains David.
Manufacturing of the entirely bespoke kit began over the festive period. After some initial delays with the actual building work, we were able to start the installation at the end of March 2015. We involved some of our German agents from Kletterparadies to help complete the build, which ultimately took around six to seven weeks. Wetpour was added which entailed a further week and a half, but since then the client has been testing the units with various school trips. All went well and the eibe team were delighted to be at the official open on Friday 3rd July.
The launch event was attended by the junior board of directors, the press and their families. Hootz House opened to the public on Saturday 4thJuly.
Paul Redden, eibe’s managing director, says it’s a rarity to have such an expansive playspace indoors:
“We have maximised the space to effect a phenomenally fun play area. From climbing and swinging, to whizzing down slides, kids are going to love Hootz House. It complements what is already a lovely place to visit for families. Inside the barn is a blend of adventure and exploration; some of the bespoke kit really does have the Wow Factor! I wish Drew, Debs and everyone involved at Pensthorpe all the very best for the future with it. It has been a pleasure being involved.”