We're at the beginning of 2018 and we have lots of new and exciting Soft Brick builds to shout about, starting with one completed at the end of 2017; Millets Farm in Oxfordshire.

The team at Millets Farm got in touch with Soft Brick in order to design a bespoke proposal for an indoor soft play area that was "something quite different to the run-of-the-mill soft play". This initial brief went out to various UK based soft play manufacturers and we're proud to say Soft Brick were the selected manufacturer to see the project through to completion.

As part of the tender like selection process, the design team at Soft Brick had produced an initial conceptual design based on a generic +10,000 sqft building. Upon being awarded the contract our team of designers got to work on the real thing - a purpose built building of a similar size, tall enough to incorporate a 4-tier soft play structure at around 8m in height. The new construction was to be a steel framed industrial style building requiring formal planning permission to achieve the D2 status - the requirement for indoor play. Included in the space was a mezzanine level, which provided a raised area for a sports court and freed up ground floor space for additional seating. The underside of the mezzanine level featured a kitchen / servery area to ensure that we could maximise the space for play.

The existing facilities at Millets Farm include restaurant(s), cafe, falconry, large maize maze, farm shop, garden centre, trout lake, petting zoo, conference centre and woodland area (Phoebe Woods). With all those offerings already, it was decided that the play facility was to have its own dedicated car park area, with a new road being added to facilitate easier access.

The team at Millets had mentioned a few key elements the final proposal was to include:

High quality - first and foremost was quality, right down to the materials and manufacture in the construction, but also the play value of the features included in the design.

Babies & Toddlers - the research carried out by Millets highlighted the need for a large baby / toddler offering, with children 18 months and younger being a key age group for customers during the week.

WOW features - the initial concept produced by our design team included some WOW features which really highlighted the uniqueness of the design (we'll talk about these later!). As desirable as these were, Millets were keen to cover the staples of most indoor soft play facilities; with the large open slides, the ball pools and the tube slides all getting special mention.

Theme - the initial concept included a 'Farm' theme, but one specifically tailored to the features and facilities at Millets Farm. However, Millets were keen to take this even further and incorporate their own characters / branding. As part of the overall approach to the appearance of the building, a more realistic rather than cartoonist look was requested; a unique theme for a unique venue. Easily achievable by our theming team - the best artists in the biz!

Education - an important element of the play is the level of detail beyond pure theming; including educational elements built into the design. Educational but most importantly FUN!

Some of the areas included in the design are:

  • Main Soft Play Structure (5-10 year olds)
  • Sports Court Area (5-10 year olds)
  • Toddler & Baby Area - Structure
  • Role Play Area (3-6 year olds)
  • Toddler Soft Play Area

Soft Brick are happy to say we completed the build at Millets right on schedule and think it’s one of our new favourite Farm themed builds!

Everyone here at Soft Brick would like to wish the team at Millets / Sprouts Play Barn the very best of luck for the future! Be sure to check out the photos and stop by to check out the farm for yourself!

Please visit http://milletsfarmcentre.com for more information and https://www.softbrick.co.uk/blogs/case-studies/case-study-millets-farm-oxfordshire to read the full case study.