Client: Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre , Guildford
Hippo has converted the toddler and children’s pool at Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre into an exciting interactive splash pool. It is aimed at introducing toddlers and the under 6s to a water play and learning experience that they can enjoy with their parents.
Interactive play features have been installed to entertain and increase water confidence in a wide range of ages and abilities.
An interactive arch which features include a waterball and a mast which can house up to 4 arms will provide endless low level fun for those that are new to water play. It will develop their water confidence by tipping water from filled buckets into the pool, turning hand wheels to control water flow and being gently sprayed by water streamers and water jets.
There is a second water arch featuring a range of high level surprise and anticipatory fun including tipping buckets, water wheels and shark showers which will soak the children playing beneath them and are ideal for slightly older children that want wish to take their water confidence to higher levels.
A mini splash pad is a big hit with all ages and features 3 in-ground jets which will soak children as they manipulate the water flow. There are also a series of mirrored portholes where children can watch their own reflection and a snake squirt that has a wiggly body and gently sprays water into the pool whilst also forming a barrier between the splash pad and the pool.
An old whale feature was removed from a plinth within the pool and replaced with a selection of large and small fish squirts which are all bright, vibrant and visually appealing to children of all ages. A raised finger spray planter was also rejuvenated by replacing existing rocks with 2 shark squirts which fill a number of cascading channels which then cascade the water back into the pool.
Children love sliding down the mini flume and splashing into the plunge pool. Toddlers and those that are less water confident have fun developing their learning with a series of interactive play panels which provide a barrier between the plunge pool and poolside. The panels feature mirrors and bubbles and encourage tactile, visual and auditory stimulation in toddlers and young children.
The centre piece of the development is a colourful GRP lighthouse which features an acrylic window and an LED beacon for added visual impact. The light turns on when the wave machine is in operation. The lighthouse has replaced an old tree house feature and is clad in artificial rocks for realistic aquatic theming. Tiny tots will enjoy sliding down a toddler slide which snakes around the lighthouse and ends in the pool.
The play feature project was one of several undertaken at Guildford Spectrum in recent years and has been designed to facilitate future expansion when required. The installation is mindful of other leisure activities around the development being careful not to cause disruption to other activities taking place.
The wet play installation was completed just before Christmas 2014 and from January to July 2015, visitor numbers increased by more than 100 per cent compared to the same period in 2014.