OB1 Live 21: Magdalen Wood Play Structures

In 2015 OB1 LIVE completed two connected projects in collaboration with Oxfordshire Play Association, The Nature Effect, Going Wild, Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) and Oxford City Council.

The site is an urban woodland in Oxford called Magdalen Wood (west). It is owned and managed as a nature reserve by Oxford City Council and is located between the housing estates of Wood Farm and Slade Park. The project evolved following the success of a previous community project on the site completed in 2015: initiated by our collaborators, a coppiced hazel dragon was created by artist Stuart Turner as a structure to support play in the woods.

The aim of the “Learn it Inside Out” projects were to generate ways to exploit the potential of Magdalen Wood as a resource on the doorstep for the local community. The focus was on issues such as childrens right to play, family cohesion, strong communities, health, wellbeing and fitness, food, access to nature, science and education.

Students designed, constructed and installed play structures for Magdalen Wood using 100% biodegradable materials. Installations included a woodland gym, bike picnic stop and a look out point. The installations were tested during a one-day public participatory consultation event.

This was followed by a more speculative project to design a base in the woods for classes of local school children that shelters its occupants while also immersing them in nature and encouraging them to enjoy spending time outside. The classroom was to be suitable for a class of up to 30 children and their teachers visiting Magdalen Wood to spend time learning in and about, the natural world.

October 2015


Abdiasis Abdi, Marie Abella, Sherraine Albert, Amy Allwood, Nirmal Amin, Douglas Angel, Sam Appleyard, Youssef Attia, Emma Baker, Tom Baldwin, George Barnes, Becky Barnett, Murad Baylarov. Mirkelam Belet, Armana Bibi, Bernard Biju, Saffa Semaon, Graeme Birmingham, Victoria Bocchiotti, Anass Bousmer, Amelia Bryant, Lauren Bryce, Laura Bucknall, James Budd, Andreea Bunica, Toby Burnes, Phoebe Cave, Katarina Cervenakova, Maria Chiocci, Quincy Chugh, Maria Ciarleglio, Max Collins, Delfina Couceiro, Caterina Cremonese, Oliver Cummings, Imogen Davies, Emily Davitt, Oliver East, Fergus England, Alice England, Julia Estrella Assis de Faria, Sofia Ferraz, James Ford, Alex Fox, Jerry Fryars, Chris Fulton, Live Furustol, Lea Garguet-Duport, Albina Gatajeva, Amee Gehrmann, Callum Goodridge, Lauren Gower, Maria Luice Grayston, Mitisha Gurung, Emma Hawes, Philippa Holmes, Hedvig Holtmann, Beth Houghton, Rolly Hsiao, Ben Hutchinson, Tom Hyde, Omar Ibrahim, Marsya Ismail, Matilda Jeans, Olivia Jones, Iris Kodal, Synnove Kyrkjeeide, Inga Lagunaite, Ida Larsson, Cindy Laryea, Sophie Latour, Sarah Lawrie, William Lawton, Isabelle Leeming, Nicholas Leigh, Marjut Lisco, Kieran Lishman, Catherine Llewellyn, Eleanor Laosby, Isaac Lockett, Daria Lugovkin, Hilary Lukose, Joshua Mannings, Hanna Middleton, Ika Mohammad Dahlan Donald, Ryan Moss, Lubomba Munkuli, Richard Muthama, Yuki Narita, Thomas Noble, Julie Nyland Nilsen, Abisoye Onanuga, Omolola Osunneye, Shivani Patel, Ruari Pawluk, Aleksander Pialuch, Lilyana Popova, Mollie Powell, Niclas Preiss, Emma Preston-Barnes, Haoyu Qi, Oana Radu, Niketa Ranjan, Mamuna Rashid, Dana Raslan, Fairuz Razak, Joshua Richards, Georgia Roberts, Ellen Sanson, Jim Santoni, Sam Scoble, Abdullah Sheikh, Rodney Sihlangu, Cameron Smith, Jennifer Smith, Joshua Snell, Vytautas Stakeliunas, Iris Sudjarwo, Yu Jin Sung, Victoria Taylor, Aliona Thomas, Luke Thomas, Laura Tilly, Sidorela Toci, Charlotte Topham, Sma Vercoe, Anna Vlassopulos, Jessica Walker, Ashling Wall, Havard Wallin, Molly Willerton, Harry Williamson, Charlie Wiltshire, Georgia Winch, Max Wolstencroft, Stefana Zapuc.


Julian Cooper and colleagues from Oxford City Council, Stuart Turner, creator of the Magdalen Wood Dragon, Jane Gallagher and Martin Gillett from Oxfordshire Play Association, Jo Schofield, Annie Davy and Fiona Danks from Going Wild/ TOE2.


Local residents, friends of, and visitors to, Magdalen Wood. Thames Valley Police.


Jane Anderson, Dr. Orestes Chouchoulas, Rob Houmøller, Pouya Zamanpour, Will Fisher, Ralph Saull.

Commissioned by



Oxford Brookes School of Architecture.