A HUGE wooden pirate ship at the Quality Hotel’s new playground in Clonakilty is proving to be a major success.
David Henry, the hotel’s general manager, initiated the project. ‘We wanted to provide something different to the conventional playground for the children,’ he explained. ‘We have a large number of family memberships at the leisure centre and we are catering for a lot of children. We came up with the idea of the ship and it has been a huge success. There are always children playing on it. The kids love the novelty factor of the boat. Visitors to the hotel regularly comment about the ship on Facebook and Trip Adviser.’
The Pirate Ship playground was created by Aidan Hennessy of Hennessy Timber Group. ‘Having kids myself, I wanted to design a playground which is visually appealing, but also captures children’s imaginations. I wanted to design something which created a “wow” factor and was different to a standard playground,’ he said.
Children can explore both inside and outside the boat, which also incorporates swings, slides, climbing nets, climbing walls and tunnels.
The boat has two levels – a ground floor which provides good shelter for unpredictable weather, and the upper level, providing a great space for the children to act out pirate games.
‘A budget was allocated, we presented several design options before deciding on the end product,’ explained Aidan.
‘The site size was a little restrictive so we worked within it and came up with a design which worked best within the space.’
Aidan combined his creative thinking with innovative design for the unique project. The entire boat structure was manufactured offsite and craned into position at the Quality Hotel.
He selected Latvian Redwood timber for the construction because it has a smooth finish, is ideal for playgrounds, and proven to last for years. The timber was carefully curved and shaped by skilled carpenters, led by Peter Johnson in Hennessy’s factory, resulting in a magnificent eye-catching structure.
‘We provided a turnkey solution to the hotel, carrying out the groundwork and auxiliary work at the site in preparation for the arrival of the ship. We were delighted with the end result and we are grateful to the Quality Hotel for the opportunity to work on such an exciting project,’ he told the Southern Star.
The Hennessy Timber Group are also the innovative people behind the bespoke timber maze, which is now a popular attraction at the Smugglers Cove Pirate golf course in Rosscarbery.
Another interesting and successful project in recent years was the design of a bespoke timber structure to house the pre-school for the Gaelscoil in Clonakilty.
The Park Cinema, adjacent to the Quality Hotel, are in the process of designing and building a High Rope Trek course, due to open in 2016, adding to the suite of entertainment facilities available at the Quality Hotel resort.