Cape Reed was hired to create a children’s ‘paradise’ in Dubai – somewhere that children could spend time (without technology) and experience fresh air and adventure….
The park is known as XPark Junior and is located just off of Dubai’s Kite Beach. The site covers a total area of 2400m². The final designs for the project were completed in May 2015 and the contract was signed in June 2015. Construction started immediately and the project was completed in excellent time despite minor setbacks along the way. The final handover to the client took place on 1 October 2015. The architect and lead designer were Denise Grobbelaar and Renier Neethling from Cape Reed International.
The brief for XPark Jr required a number of key attractions which included a variety of play structures, landscaping to resemble a jungle, a coffee shop and a ‘farmer’s market’ area for children.
The play structures are as natural-looking as possible and themed to represent a jungle. The coffee shop is aimed at parents and guardians, while the farmer’s market creates a space for children to sell handmade products.
Both the timber and thatch used in Cape Reed projects are carbon negative and score highly on the solar reflectance index (SRI), which measures a constructed surface’s ability to reflect solar heat. This means that on hot days, temperatures underneath the structures can be as much as 10°C cooler than under a standard roof.
The thatched timber structures are eco-friendly and sustainable, whilst also being durable and used for a multitude of activities. Large double doors and an elevated arch form the entrance to the park, implying the entrance to a castle. Upon entering the park visitors are immediately met by the shade and intended temperature drop.
A plethora of climbing structures awaits the children at XPark Jr, including various climbing passages, ropes and walls, as well as elevated towers, monkey bars, cargo nets, slides, swings and sandpits. There are also mini ‘wadis’ – dry valleys or ravines which stay dry except in the rainy season.
Additional activities include lessons in archery, cooking and survival in the wilderness, as well as general arts and crafts. A miniature farm allows children to get close to a range of farm animals, including opportunities to milk cows, collect eggs and ride horses. Extra features include a vegetable patch and herb garden, as well as mango, lemon and fig trees. A real oasis
Our company’s design team worked closely with construction colleagues to create multiple enclosed areas which are used as restaurants, market areas and administration buildings, as well as the play structures and log cabins which form the core of the design.
Local landscaping company and business partner, Escape Landscaping, was appointed as sub-contractor to fill in the blank spaces with vegetation and water features, seeking to create a real oasis in the centre of Dubai’s urban space.
Entrance to the playscape will cost Dhs 45 per child with accompanying adult for 2 hours and an extra Dhs 25 for every extra hour.
One parent per family can enter free of charge, each additional adult will pay Dhs 45 for 2 hours.
Children under 1 year old can enter free of charge.