MAK Architects and Underground The Brand Laundry are collaborating on interiors and branding for Topsy Turvey World, a nascent children’s play centre, set to open in London in the New Year.
The identity by UTBL will be unveiled in around six weeks. MAK is about to go on site for interiors and is finalising design concepts and contractors’ details.
The 1115m2 centre will feature a wide selection of children’s play equipment, such as climbing frames, hideaways, tunnels and ladders. A healthy-eating restaurant is also planned, aimed at parents as well as children.
‘The idea for a children’s activity environment grew out of a frustration with existing offerings,’ says Topsy Turvey World founder Dulcie Rowe, who created the concept with husband Jason Rowe.
The first site opens in north London’s Brent Cross, and Rowe plans to open around 20 sites nationwide in the next five years.
MAK director Stephen Archer, who is leading the project, says, ‘We wanted to create an adventure playground that educates and engages children and appeals to adults.’
MAK has created a range of individual play concepts that can be applied to different sites in a variety of combinations, ‘tailored to each site’, says Archer. Most elements have been signed off by the client, but some concepts are still in development.
The UTBL branding will be broadly applied across elements including signage and print material. It has been designed to target children, rather than their parents, says UTBL creative director Neville Portelli.
‘We wanted to create a pester brand aimed at children,’ he says.
Rowe approached MAK and UTBL without a pitch on the strength of previous relationships.