Mount Stuart Primary School

Mount Stuart Primary School
Wonder Wander Ponder Play

Artist: Ongl Design+Make

Client: Mount Stuart Primary School

Location: Cardiff Bay

Services: Strategy Development

Phase: On site 2021


Every child has the right to play.  It is a vital part of a child’s upbringing and development, benefitting their health, happiness and wellbeing.  In Wonder, Wander Ponder, Play, Studio Response collaborated with Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff Bay to work creatively with its Learning Council group of pupils to explore approaches to the re-development of the school’s large outdoor space.

To explore the children’s perceptions of play and their individual and collective relationships with the outdoor spaces, Studio Response commissioned Cardiff based interior architectural designers Ongl Design + Make to lead a series of design workshops with the children, making a creative space for open, pupil-led exploration. The engagement was designed to reflect Mount Stuart Primary School’s vision and values of creating opportunities and experiences that will challenge 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.  The bespoke installation is due for completion in 2021.

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

Images courtesy of the artists.