Forest Hill – Secret Forest

  • 2019

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Play9 Studios

151 Property

Designed In:


The Secret Forest: an immersive indoor play space designed to be the centrepiece of a dining area in Forest Hill Shopping Centre. From a talking bear to interactive tree, this space is designed to engage a broad range of children’s interests and skill-levels – encompassing the perfect mix of physical and interactive play.

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  • Our design brief was to create a Playful Centerpiece in the middle of a New Dining precinct, to create a new destination in a shopping centre environment to attract new families and reinvigorate exisiting. In a prickly market between acceptance of digital and varying parenting opinions, the challenge was to create a space that embedded digital into the physical to appeal to a broad range of families and children, while not alienating. In addition, our client requested all low play elements only.

  • We created a Magical Forest for the kids - in Forest Hill. Integrating digital and physical play, from a slide that lights up with touch to stairs that play musical notes – creating magical beacon for the local growing family community. We designed a Play Space that is stunning, smart and allows for change (ability to change content, sounds and light) our space can evolve and grow, thus, creating a space that has enough “change” to keep it alive and fresh. Eg: Our interactive Library of Games, means during the day Games can appeal to younger pre-school kids, vs after school audience.

  • We created a destination. Tackling the ongoing challenge of the shopping centres purpose to the consumer. Empowering kids of all ages to discover, learn & interact with one another. We ensured active spaces that utilised children’s fine & gross motor skills, we also focussed on imaginative & sensory play, so kids of all ages & abilities were not left behind - a frequent problem in shared communal play. Flooring encouraged active play & safe traffic flow, with natural pathways linking products. The Forest theme continued into social touchscreen gaming, with customised incidental learning puzzles, augmented reality & musical composition adding to the sense of inclusion for all.

  • Play9 Games: We have created a library of games, which appeal to varying age groups, skill-sets, solo vs group play and interests. This enables the playspace to cater to various age-groups and different times of day, this also extends to changing the space to seasonal content such as “Christmas”. With game, light and sound changes. Platform: The entire playspace is all controllable and connected by our backend system called IM: This allows clients to change/schedule different games, control sound and lighting (eg: the bear can deliver Christmas message or a Summer vs Winter message) – and also access a live user analytics, allowing Forest Hill to learn about their space – least popular/most popular time/day and so on. Parents Room: To connect the family experience, we extended our Forest Play Space into the Parents Amenities room, creating a more private area with a connected design and play experience. In here children can interact with quieter challenging games, both digital and Physical.