The Natural Landscape and Integrating Playground Equipment
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 1,400 acres of Barnsley Gardens Resort offers a welcome respite from the rigors of modern life. The estate was built in the 1840s by Godfrey Barnsley as a gift for his wife, Julia. Originally named “Woodlands”, the grounds were designed by one of America’s first great landscape architects, Andrew Jackson Downing, and to this day remains a picturesque and luxurious retreat.
Barnsley Gardens is a premiere resort with a championship golf course, full-service spa and acres upon acres of elaborate gardens cultivated for nearly two centuries. Although the resort is among the most popular destinations in the Southern United States for adults, it lacked a signature destination for younger children.
GameTime was determined to create a playful destination for children, while naturally integrating the grounds of Barnsley Gardens into the playground environment. The nature-themed play structure features tree, leaf and vine climbers, slides, and observation decks for children to explore their surroundings. We added paths throughout the play space leading to separate play pockets from our nature-inspired PlayTrails line and incorporated freestanding play events like the tire swing to enhance the play value for all ages.
The result is a beautifully landscaped playground that represents the spirit of Barnsley Gardens. It is a gift for children and families who visit the resort, a retreat of their own and an opportunity for them to play, explore and relax in nature. Its design integrates seamlessly with the Downing-inspired gardens and demonstrates how play can be designed naturally into the surrounding landscape.