This project is an example of the importance of doing a follow-up site evaluation to glean lessons learned and identify processes that can be improved. A post-occupancy evaluation of the facilities playground was conducted in order to see what elements of the design were working and which were not. Over the course of four short years since installation in 2011 the design has been significantly adjusted and work is ongoing as Pike Place Preschool continues to identify their evolving needs and changes are then implemented by parent volunteers and staff.
Key findings during the site evaluation included recognition that the covered play area was modified to incorporate various elements of Adventure Play focusing on large motor skills and independent play. This wonderfully un-programmed area now includes small sandbags that the children can stack to build their own walls, roads and other features and a woodchip area that allows for creative movement; the space provides significant cognitive and academic benefits for children of all ages. Additionally, the staff has recognized a significant improvement in the children’s upper body strength since this play feature was incorporated.
The West Studio actively gathers data on past projects to build on their knowledge and help past and future clients achieve the very best outcomes.
(As Senior Associate with Nakano Associates)