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Shopping centre opens new, state-of-the-art interactive freeplay in family zone

PUBLISHED: 16:02 10 December 2018

The Exchange comprises more than 90 retailers including Debenhams, M&S, TK Maxx, Next, H&M, New Look, Wilko, Pandora and Sports Direct.

The Exchange comprises more than 90 retailers including Debenhams, M&S, TK Maxx, Next, H&M, New Look, Wilko, Pandora and Sports Direct.

Archant

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

The new freeplay is constructed from hand sculpted and painted animals.The new freeplay is constructed from hand sculpted and painted animals.

A brand new, state-of-the-art children’s freeplay is now open at Exchange Ilford.

Set across 118 square metres, the children’s play area has been designed according to a Savannah wildlife theme.

The Ilford Wild Cubs Freeplay is brought to life with incredible, unique animals’ sculptures, including an interlinked giraffe and baby, lions, elephants and meerkats.

Along with a log ramp, these creatively-shaped pieces will provide a variety of ways for children to climb, balance and tunnel through.

The unique play area at Exchange Ilford has been specially created by American design agency Playtime.The unique play area at Exchange Ilford has been specially created by American design agency Playtime.

Created by Playtime, an American company specialising in innovative space design, each element of the freeplay is hand sculpted, coated and hand painted. The company provides unique play experiences for indoor, outdoor and waterside locations.

Tech elements have been integrated into the experience to provide a contrast to the active free form play. A dazzling, wall-mounted interactive LED lighting system will respond to the children’s touch by changing colour, brightness and patterns. There will also be an interactive art panel for painting, drawing and puzzles.

The Ilford Wild Cubs Freeplay will form part of the shopping centre’s family zone, which also includes a new parent and baby room with private feeding rooms, toddler toilets and soft seating.

Special projects manager at Capital & Regional, who operate Exchange Ilford, Brooke Rawlings, said: “A key part of our community shopping centre strategy is to provide best-in-class family facilities, so that everyone can come and enjoy time together.

The children's play area is part of the new family zone at Exchange Ilford, which also includes private baby changing rooms and soft seating.The children's play area is part of the new family zone at Exchange Ilford, which also includes private baby changing rooms and soft seating.

“We are thrilled to be the first UK shopping centre to feature a modern Playtime installation, bringing together global best practice in terms of design and function.

“This eye-catching and distinctive facility at The Exchange Ilford is sure to be enjoyed by our younger visitors and families for many years to come.”

The brand new play area is the result of a collaboration between Capital & Regional and Denver-based Playtime, who are focusing on developing projects in European shopping centres frequented by families and children.

Director of European Activities at Playtime, Julie Fitzsimmins, said: “This project has been designed to work at scale to accommodate large numbers of children at peak times.

The freeplay includes a wall-mounted interactive LED lighting system will respond to the childrens touch by changing colour, brightness and patterns.The freeplay includes a wall-mounted interactive LED lighting system will respond to the childrens touch by changing colour, brightness and patterns.

“It is also unique, and custom designed in a contemporary Savannah style to echo the work Capital & Regional has already completed on the family room and facilities.”

Located in the heart of Ilford, opposite the train station, the Exchange comprises more than 90 retailers including Debenhams, M&S, TK Maxx, Next, H&M, New Look, Wilko, Pandora, Sports Direct and more.

For more information visit exchangeilford.com.

The Exchange, Ilford, The High Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4FA

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