Stephen Kemp, director of Orkney Builders, approached 59 degrees north to design a park as a focal point and outdoor communal space within a new 90 house housing development on the outskirts of Kirkwall.
Orkney Builders are the largest house builder in Orkney and Stephen has an aspiration to add another dimension to this housing scheme which includes housing association, council, shared-ownership and private housing. He set aside an acre within the heart of the development in order to provide a quality public space which would promote social cohesion and create a natural play area for the local children.
The design for the park has an emphasis on the natural play philosophy which encourages play by creating interesting topography with natural rock and timber features and promoting native tree, shrub, wildflower planting and bio-diversity.
There is an ampitheatre with a proposed stone built bbq and seating area to provide a communal space for community activities and potentially a venue for outdoor performance and cinema.
There are areas which can be developed by the soon to be formed residents association for allotments and community gardens. The designs provides scope of use for all ages to allow children and their grandparents to enjoy the park.
The park is into phase 2 of construction with the site landscaped and grass seeded and the tree, shrub, wildflower planting and installation of individual play features.