Mount Stuart Primary School

Mount Stuart Primary School
Wonder Wander Ponder Play

Artist: Ongl Design Studio

Client: Mount Stuart Primary School

Location: Cardiff Bay

Services: Strategy Development

Phase: Completed 2021


In Wonder, Wander Ponder, Play, Studio Response collaborated with Mount Stuart Primary School’s pupil-led Learning Council to explore approaches to the re-development of the school’s large outdoor space.

 Studio Response commissioned Cardiff based interior architectural designers Ongl Design Studio to lead a series of design workshops which explored the pupils’ perceptions of play and their individual and collective relationship with outdoor spaces.

The engagement was designed to reflect the school’s vision of creating opportunities and experiences that challenge its pupils to become open-minded citizens who think critically and communicate confidently.

 The workshops were bolstered by a visit to the Design Commission for Wales, whose offices are close to the school.  Here the Learning Council experienced a special workshop about urban planning which encouraged everyone to look at their local environment from different perspectives.

 Based on the children’s ideas, Ongl devised an ambitious strategy for the holistic redevelopment of the school’s outdoor space, including planting, playscapes and seating areas, as well as zones for more traditional activities like playground games and football.

 A large sculptural structure for seating, shelter and play was prioritised.  Set on a 1m x 1m grid and inspired by the pupils’ experience of parkour free-running, Ongl developed a series of platforms on which the pupils can sit, contemplate, socialise, shelter and play in a non-prescriptive way. 

 We are grateful to the igloo Porth Teigr Community Fund for part funding this project.

 Images courtesy of the artists.  Images of the completed playscape taken by Owen Matthias Photography.