Urban Cork furniture brings fun and laughter to the business district of London

by | May 21, 2024 | General

Location: The City of London

Situated in a safe, quiet pedestrian street in the business-oriented part of the City of London, this modular and sculptural playground uses expanded cork and has been short-listed as a finalist for the Civic Trust Awards 2024.

Designed by Architects McCloy + Muchemwa ( ), The Urban Playground is deliberately eye-catching and laid out as a trail that leads visitors and passers-by on a journey through a linear pedestrian street – encountering intriguing moments and informal gathering spaces in the shade of trees.

Photography by Luke O’Donovan and Simon Kennedy

The layout of pieces creates different types of space from elevated podiums for performing to small intimate clusters where someone could simply sit quietly, some spaces are tight, and some are wide open.

Small children feel naturally drawn to the installation as there are some spaces that only very small people can get into and sometimes the head height clearance is lower than a standing adult. Bright coloured surfaces in curved or pixelated shapes act as an invitation to play.

Cork materials were chosen for their multisensory appeal, ease of fabrication and environmental sustainability. The skeletons of the play structures are made from CNC cut OSB board and timber battens. These have been clad with a 97% natural raw material + CO2 neutral linoleum and with 100% natural heat treated expanded cork panels. A few small areas of a non-shatter mirrored panel are included to add further diversity to the sensory experience and play opportunities of the installation.

Further information:

Produced for the Client: EC BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT – a non-profit organisation working to promote & enhance the part of London known as the Eastern City.

Project Management: NLA / London Festival of Architecture 2023
Architect: McCloy + Muchemwa
Fabrication: Design & Making

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