Gaze casually across at Bolton’s Market Place Shopping Centre and you may be excused for being somewhat sceptical about what lies lurking beneath its mega mix of stores, restaurants and retail outlets.
eibe Play is excited to unveil one of its most fascinating ventures in recent years; Amazonia is a magical, kaleidoscopic underground world of fun featuring our bespoke adventure course, as well as a train ride and crazy golf.
“It’s astonishing that such a phenomenally different playspace exists underneath a shopping mall where deliveries used to be made,” comments eibe’s managing director, Paul Redden, “The thought involved in the conversion is remarkable, the use of space is brilliantly clever. It is, without doubt, one of our most inventive schemes.”
Plans for the regeneration originally began in 2015 and we knew from the very outset it would be a unique challenge. Construction and logistics were design imperatives, so the eibe creative team began plotting an imaginative solution to the client’s bold requests.
Working in conjunction with Martin Wragge, owner of Inception Holdings Sarl and Wren Architects, the eibe team were in constant liaison with all the key stakeholders for the duration of the £200,000 project. Consistently shifting around design ideas meant an ongoing dialogue was paramount explains eibe’s design director, David Hibberd,
“We always complete a project on time, so despite the numerous changes that were made throughout the creative concept, we were mindful of every deadline. We had originally mulled over an industrial theme, but the Amazonian Jungle theme evolved over a period of time. The many midnight adjustments were worth it in the end!”
Accessed via the refurbished Victorian vaults in the basement of the centre, Amazonia will act as an entertainment venue for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. eibe’s tailored play equipment looks stunning; merge in the realistic sounds of forest animals and you could be mistaken for feeling you’re in deepest South America on a Brazilian expedition.
Climbing, balancing, jumping, swinging, sliding – the play value here is incredible. Add to this a ride aboard the Jungle Express train, which meanders through the underground network of perfect play, and you really have a destination park for the future. In terms of specified equipment, eibe installed a huge, bespoke climbing unit from our “Unique” range. It incorporates multi-towers and climbing nets with themed graphics throughout. The wetpour safety surfacing complements the zone and the cosmetic effect is quite beautiful.
Nikki Wilson-Cook, Market Place manager, says the end result is more than she could ever have hoped for when the initial plans came out last year,
“The detail in this place is amazing, the kids who are coming in are astounded. This is all about having that entertainment and leisure offer for people coming to the centre. People want to have a whole day out now and we hope this will help them do that.”
Amazonia manager, Jonathan Davis, added: “I have worked all over and I have never seen a centre like this — it has got everything and we hope people will really enjoy it.”