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School playgrounds become exciting playscapes: Van Vliet creates two stunning school adventure playgrounds

Dutch licensee, Van Vliet Buitenruimte, has created a series of dramatic and clever playgrounds in The Netherlands that truly capture the imagination and promote creative play.

The company specialises in providing sports and play facilities with a distinctly clever, creative edge that excite and enthrall children and adults alike.

Two of Van Vliet's installations are particularly interesting examples of how interactive design and a bold use of colour can completely transform school play spaces.

Take Nicolaas Maesschool for example: working in conjunction with a local designer, the local authorities and Playtop's range of Nike Grind blends, Van Vliet created a playground incorporating some unusual elements such as a "wooden snake" climbing frame. They also covered a football field in 280m2 of 20mm green Playtop with Nike Grind surfacing. What's more, they covered the bulk of the playground's concrete tiles with Playtop safer surfacing within a strict timeframe of just 3 weeks.

"We had to complete the project while the school was on vacation throughout July and August 2012," explains Wim Van Vliet. "Fortunately, with the help of the architect and the municipality we were able to get the job done."

Another key case is The British School of Amsterdam. Building on original designs created several years ago, this extraordinary concept involves covering 761m2 of playground - completely engulfing it in Playtop safe surfacing in imaginative ways. The playground includes a series of fun inclines, a sandpit, a concealed cave and even embedding a tree to create an unusual focal point for play. The design also incorporates wooden ‘speaking tubes' that allow children to communicate from different parts of the playground.

Van Vliet had to use a crane to lift the materials into the central courtyard and they had to ensure that the tree was not harmed or put under undue pressure as it is the same type of tree viewed by Anne Frank from her ‘achterhuis' hiding place and is under strict control. The company installed a special anchoring around the tree to protect the roots and prevent the need for digging beneath the tree to secure play equipment.

"It took us two months to come to an agreement about how to deal with the tree as we were not allowed to dig under or around it," adds Wim Van Vliet. "We made 26 drawings of every detail of every aspect of the playground to get everything certified!"

To view these two exciting case studies and learn more about the projects, please visit http://www.hetnieuweschoolplein.nl/#!page-6-werk/c1l7u

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