Founded in 1972, SAFRA runs a network of clubs designed as the “go-to destination for all social, recreational, sports and educational facilities” for NSMen (those in Singapore’s National Service) and their families. In 2016, SAFRA will open its latest club, SAFRA Punggol, located in northeastern Singapore. A key attraction for SAFRA Punngol’s is the nation's very first indoor water playground.
According to SAFRA, “Inspired by its location, the club will host fun water related activities for the whole family. Part of its land even has a natural slope towards the waterway. The club would truly be ‘Where Fun Flows.’"
The goal for the new facility is to build a clubhouse that can cater to NSMen’s lifestyle needs, and that means developing attractions for young families. Other clubs offer swimming pools and SAFRA’s own brand of indoor playgrounds, known as Kidz Amaze, in Jurong and Toa Payoh are both dry indoor playgrounds. SAFRA realized that the Kidz Amaze at SAFRA Punggol needed to offer something different and exciting, something that gives guests and their families, especially those with children between the ages 18 months to 13 years, something they can’t experience elsewhere in Singapore – an indoor water playground. The 18 months to 13 years demographic is an important one for SAFRA Punggol since other SAFRA clubs, like at Jurong caters to older kids with challenges of an 18-meter slide, and Toa Payoh has an infant area.
A key element to the Kidz Amaze at SAFRA Punggol is the design: The profile, the safety aspect, the developmental aspect in young kids, the engagement factor/ bonding opportunities & repeat visitors to the facility. To help design the new space, SAFRA turned to CT Art Creation and to Vortex for the waterpark solutions.
SAFRA worked with Vortex and CT Art Creation to bring alive its theme of the Enchanting Deep Sea, through design and planning of the facility from the entrance to the service counter, to washrooms, shower areas, party rooms and the main playground.
Using the theme, the Enchanting Deep Sea, SAFRA Punggol planned for the design for Kidz Amaze to offer a safe environment for wet play and ensure no matter the weather so that kids and families can still enjoy water play, which is very popular among families in Singapore.
According to Sharmila Vijayakanathan, Assistant Director for Education Services, “Education is an important part of SAFRA clubs, and Kidz Amaze values Purposeful Play and is known as ‘A Playground with a Difference.’ Our play elements are carefully chosen by Early Childhood experts who chart the necessary skills for various developmental milestones for young children. We are strong believers of family bonding as well and choose equipment where parents can be active participants in play with their children.”
Kidz Amaze in SAFRA Punggol is aimed at enhancing family play experiences and we envision this facility to engage in “learning through play.” “Using the theme and play elements we hope to instil good moral values through stories from the deep sea,” Sharmila said.
As part of the design process, SAFRA asked children and parents for feedback on what they would love to have at Kidz Amaze Punggol. SAFRA took a user-centric approach to its planning and selection. SAFRA then looked at its desired outcome for family bonding and safe play for kids and selected play elements that promote the above desired outcomes.
SAFRA Punggol installed:
SAFRA selected Vortex because “Vortex equipment is known for its safety features and that was our priority. They were able to design and reconstruct certain elements to our requirements like family slides,” Sharmila said.
Another important consideration is Vortex’s water-conservation features. “We wanted to aim for a Green Mark certification in the playground and most features supported the initiative for being eco-friendly. We looked at everything, from selection of tiles to materials used in the play elements and fixtures,” Sharmila added.