Following three years of collaboration with the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy (LCCCP), architecture practice pH+ last month revealed an experimental sensory garden and giant xylophone installation in Greenwich for the London Festival of Architecture.
The sensory pop-up, known as The Milkshake Tree, opened on Peninsula Square for two weeks during the Festival, and stimulates and encourages play through sounds, smells, movements and reflective surfaces. Conceived as an inclusive sensory space, The Milkshake Tree was inspired by the practice’s work for the LCCCP in Haringey, where the Centre’s new extension has just recently received planning permission.
The Milkshake Tree showcased the philosophy of learning through play that is embraced at the LCCCP, with the installation even being named by one its students. Using specific education techniques, the charity’s aim is to inspire disabled children to develop independence, confidence and self-esteem in order to reach their full potential. In response to this, the installation by pH+ includes several special features, including a ramped walkway bound by a screen of timber fins and copper xylophones, which can be played by children as they walk by.
The installation has now been relocated to the playground of the Centre’s new home in Haringey, and extended with a multisensory ramp that links the school to new hydrotherapy facilities. Outdoor learning spaces, designed by BD Landscape Architects, include a sensory roof garden, a mud kitchen and a sheltered treehouse, all of which are intended to capture children’s imaginations.
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