Welcome to the Boundless Playground, which sits within WindReach in Bermuda. Our brief for this project was to design and develop an inspiring, bespoke playground for children and adults that offers a magical, inclusive experience for all visitors to WindReach, regardless of their abilities.
WindReach is an accessible facility in Warwick, Bermuda that extends over 4 acres and features a multi-purpose Activity Centre, Petting Zoo and Therapeutic Riding Centre. It's unique in Bermuda in that it offers therapeutic and educational experiences for people with a variety of physical and intellectual abilities. Today around 200 visitors benefit from their programmes on a weekly basis, ranging from preschool to seniors.
Bermuda is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, around 1,000 km east of North Carolina. Its character is closer to that of the Caribbean however, due to a subtropical climate and its vibrant culture, shaped by centuries of historical cultural influences. Though the archipelago was uninhabited when it was claimed and named by the Spanish in 1503, it has since gathered clear influences from the Spanish, the Dutch and the English. Today Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory.
Although usually referred to in the singular, Bermuda is in fact made up of 181 islands with a total land mass of only 20.5 square miles. Bermuda has a population of around 71,000, many who work in insurance related industries. With its climate and stunning beaches, it’s no surprise that Bermuda is a popular destination, and tourism is the island's second biggest industry.
This melting pot of cultures has fed directly into the architecture across the island, which is where we drew inspiration for our design. Bermuda is within a hurricane zone, so rooflines have minimal overhangs and consideration is always given to the prevailing winds from the South West. There's also a lovely feature on many buildings, known as 'Welcoming Arms' stairs, which open out as they reach the bottom in a welcoming gesture. There are also some fabulous, crazy sign posts which point to destinations around the world. All of these fired our imaginations and led into our designs for play.
The design and build was paid for through a campaign of fundraising activities, driven by the local charity MAMA (Meet a Mum Association). They began their $400,000 fundraising programme during 2018 and met their target. The new playground replaces one which was well loved and well used, but had reached the end of its life. The new playground also introduces a whole new level of accessibility to allow children and adults of all abilities to play together.
The CAP.Co team were on site for just under two months to complete the build. The build was scheduled outside of hurricane season, and we were fortunate with the weather. Naturally, undertaking a build project on a small island required careful consideration and planning. Close collaboration with the team at WindReach and a strategic approach from our build team meant the project build went exactly to schedule. The colours and materials for the play structures referenced local architectural cues to the letter and it immediately felt as though the project belonged in its new home.
One play feature that was created for Boundless was a newly designed companion slide that followed the design of the welcoming arms stairs and allows two people of differing abilities to slide down together. It ensures a simple transition from the slide to a wheelchair below.
It's now open for play and has been hugely well received by the team at Boundless and their visitors.