Pool to Playspace


Parks Make Differences

Parks, playspaces, rooms to play in, whatever you like to call it, they make differences and here’s why:

1. Family Values

As you may have heard before, family comes first. The people in your lives should be loved and cared for. Having a playroom is important as it strengthens family bonds. Parents watch over their kids and the kids run around giddy with energy. Having this relationship creates a sense of protection and dependability. The parents are able to protect their kids if they get hurt and the children are able to depend on their parents for help.

2. Social Connections ~ New Friends!

Humans are social beings. From early ages, it is good to make friends so they can learn from each other and keep each other company. If kids were always kept inside their homes, this would limit their social skills and it will be difficult for them to break out of their comfort zones as they get older. Playspaces are a great way to befriend new people.

3. Children’s Learning Development

Playspaces play an active role in children’s lives. They give the child development and learning needs by allowing them to explore their creativity in the space. They can have fun and relax there while also keeping them healthy.


Join Me in My Journey!

Check out my instagram: @chaijoanngoaarch

Direct message me on instagram to contact me! I’m open to suggestions and conversations!

My name is Jo Ann and I currently live in a condominium in Singapore. In this condo, there is a lot of wasted space. Although there are plenty of facilities here, I would say that there is almost too many. In my condo, there are eight pools. There is one for every row of buildings. The townhouses have four, the facility area has two, and the apartment buildings have another two. Is there really a need for this many pools? The apartment buildings are already small enough, so let’s put this space to use.

Also here’s a quizlet full of architectural terms I will use in this post:


Design Process

Define the Problem

I decided to create a playspace since one of the problems is the amount of wasted space and the health risks in the current playground. There is one small playground located in the back of the apartment buildings on the edge of the condo area. However, right next to the condo is a gas station and guess what? The playground is right next to it. As you can imagine, this is not a healthy place to bring your kids to play. Whenever I went over there to take pictures, I could smell the carbon monoxide fumes in the air. The air quality wasn’t good and if I were to stand at the gas station, I wouldn’t be able to see the playground. Therefore the people filling up their gas tanks won’t be able to see who they’re harming. Children could be inhaling gas fumes while huffing and puffing out their energy. Because of this unpopular playground (another area of wasted space), children will run around the entire condo. Our apartment buildings have sliding glass doors to access our balconies and thin walls. A splash in the pool would echo throughout the buildings. A child laughing would be even louder. Many residents have complained about this, but can you really stop a child from laughing and having fun? Therefore, I will create a soundproof space for kids and their parents so as to not disturb the residents.


Picture of current playground and location circled in black:






















Would you bring your children to the current playground?

Collect Information



Client Interview

Clients: Parents and their children

Interviewees: A neighbor (mom) and her three children

Questions Answers

What do you think a play space needs to help a child’s creativity flourish?

  • Nature for child’s creativity and exploration

What do you think is needed in a play space to help with family values?

  • Kids love animals

What is needed for the safety of a child?

  • Indoor pool isn’t a great idea
  • Falling down is fine

Are there any functions you want to add?

  • Seats and benches are fine for parents
  • Snack and drinks bar
  • Place for relaxation
  • Air con
  • Music

How should a watching room and play room be separated?

  • No need for watching room and playing room to be separated

What makes a good play space?

  • Our condo has too many restrictions
    • No floaties in pools
    • Add something for children to have fun

What do you want to add? A bouncy castle?

  •  Art station
  • Bouncy castle
  • Playground
  • Merry go round

Child’s drawing of her ideal playground:

Site Pictures



Brainstorm and Analyze Ideas

Schematic Design

To get my ideas out there, I created a few things to help me plan them out.

Bubble Diagram (to see what the placement of things would be like):

Mood Board (this is like a template for the feeling I want to go for):

Site Plan (this is a rough outline of what the surroundings of the room is like):

As you can see, the building is on the corner of a block and is between another pool and a set of stairs. Also you can see that the path space relationships are very neat. The paths usually have a lot of greenery to add to the privacy of the people living on the lower floors, so I plan to add some greenery to the side of my building.

Floor Plan (there is a quite a few here because I draw over them using another piece of transparent paper when I get new ideas):

For my first floor plan, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do. I planned on using glass panels for the ceiling and the side of the wall that is labelled in blue. For the glass on the ceiling, I thought it would be too sunny for the children and the sun would heat up the room, increasing the cost for air conditioning. A good way to counteract that would be to add water on top of the ceiling. This would act as a cooling element, absorb the UV rays from the sun so it wouldn’t harm the skin of small children, and give the room a watery illusion. There are no vertical barriers as that would limit the flow of the room. I wanted people to see each other from across the room. In my following floor plans, I moved a few sections around. I placed the art section near the glass wall so the natural light would act as a desk light. This will fulfill the architectural duality for light and shadow because there will be natural light coming into the room, and there will be shadows from the water and bamboo shade I plan to add on top. This creates a less cluttered space and this is important as the exterior and interior should match each other. Since the approach of the building will be very geometric and neat, I wanted the playspace to have the same effect. I added more detail into the next drawing for the playground equipment as I wanted to clarify my plan for the structure layout. I added some hanging surfaces because I was inspired by the acorn pod playground. I wanted to add some hanging pods with hierarchy because it would be fun for the kids and look interesting.


Elevations and Perspective:

Another architectural duality I wanted to add was the importance of form and function. Form is important since the building has to be eye-catching. However, the design can’t be the only thing to be worried about, the function has to be important as well. I added a bamboo shade to the area on top of the playground as the kids would be closer to the glass ceiling and that part would be especially bright and hot. Before my idea for the glass wall, I thought that because there were no windows on the sides of the building, people inside the room would feel a little suffocated. Therefore, I thought of adding a large window to the side of the building and also changing the orientation of the bamboo shade. It would be intriguing to connect the ceiling and the side of the room to form a curve. This would make the building look a little more unique and it adds a waterfall effect. This would also solve another problem I had forgotten about. Because it is discouraged to have stagnant water in Singapore (heightens the risk for dengue fever), it has to be moving at all times. The function of the water would serve a purpose for not only the protection of UV rays, but also beauty. Also because the building is on a corner and the terrain for this area is a little lopsided, I added a little structure at the bottom of the building to help straighten out the building.



Develop Solutions

This is the point in time where I knew what I want and how I wanted it, so this is a representation of how I got there. I made a model to see where I could place things. I moved things around a little because in my drawings I didn’t think about the scale of the pool. Because it is a lap pool, it is quite long, therefore the building had to be long as well. I used a shoe box and opened it up to create a longer building. The ideas are still a little rough at this point, but it is getting there.




Design Development

Perspective/ Elevation:

Here are a few different perspectives of my building. Because I didn’t explain where the water was going to fall in my schematic design, I drew out the surroundings so it would be a little more clear. From my site plan, you can see that I labelled rectangle next to the playspace, “another pool on lower level.” That is where the water will go and I think it’ll be interesting for the users of the pool since it adds another unique element to that pool.


Materials Soundproof drywall on the interior of the room Wood on the outside Soundproof glass on the outside Metal elements to make the room more stable Concrete to secure the room

Dimensions of the room: 21.6ft. x 168ft.

Area square footage: 3628.8ft. squared

Height of room: 9ft.

Height of pods from floor: 3ft., 5ft., 6ft.

  • 2ft. x 2ft.
  • height of pods: 3.5 ft.


Site Plan:

Floor Plan:

For the floor plan, I added something that isn’t in my perspectives drawing. It is the greenery at the side of the building and I think this is a very important for the element of nature. I said in the beginning that I wanted to focus on the element of nature after I had interviewed a mom. She said that nature was important for kids because it makes them more active. They’re not cooped up in their rooms watching videos so I wanted to use the colors from my mood board to add to that. I also added the pods because I wanted something to act like a mini version of a treehouse. That’s why the materials I will use are wood and cement. I changed the layout of a lot of things. For example, the lounge area has more detail. I also placed the shoes inside the room and built multiple trampolines into the ground. I’m happy with the design now and I hope you find it interesting as well.

Would you rather bring your kids to my playspace or the current playground?

Nope, still sticking to the current playground
Want to make your own playroom? Here’s how to make an instant playspace for your kids or even yourself if you’re feeling it!
Nature Playroom Only Child Playroom Family Playroom
Budget Around $200  Around $100 Around $200
  1.  Paint the room in a color from my color scheme found in the mood board above
  2. Get a few climbing structures in there!
  3. Need more storage? Get a slide with built in compartments!
  4. A knitted carpet with some plants and you’re done!
  1. Paint a feature wall with your child’s favorite color and doodle or paint one of the walls in black chalkboard paint
  2. Keep at least 15 toys and put away the rest
  3. Put the toys into accessible pull out cubbies at your child’s height
  4. Get a bean bag!
  5. A desk and chair to finish it off and you’re done!


  1. Paint one of the walls with a pastel color and all the others white or black
  2. Set up the t.v. on that wall
  3. Get some ikea furniture for unique storage ideas
  4. Put board games in there
  5. Get a couch that matches the color of the pastel wall
  6. A few hanging lights to decorate the room and you’re done!
Check out my actual work in progress here and leave comments! They will be much appreciated!
~ Thanks for sticking around! ~





Share this project
  1. April 27, 2018 by Lauren

    This is incredible, Jo Ann! I can see that you put a lot of thought into how to create a new play space. The schematic drawings and cardboard model you made are especially impressive. Are you thinking of actually proposing this idea to Woodhaven?

    • April 27, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Lauren! I’m not quite sure if I should propose this idea to Woodhaven. If they did approve of it, that would be really amazing, but construction would be quite loud. Maybe I would tell Woodhaven. Do you think it would be a good idea though?

  2. April 27, 2018 by Eun Jin

    Clearly you put so much time and effort into this and the results are great! I really love your idea of building a play space and especially the design. The whole workout process you showed in this blog(?) seems really interesting and I would actually like to try designing architecture myself sometime.

    • April 27, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Eun jin! I think you should definitely try out architecture, especially since you’re really good at physics!

  3. April 27, 2018 by Shivani

    Wow Jo Ann, I really love your final ideas and product, especially because it’s so thorough. You paid careful attention to details and tried to incorporate your surroundings into this design, which ended up being very successful!

    • April 27, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you for noticing the details Shivani! It has been a tough journey and your comment makes me thankful for it! Is there anything you think I can improve on?

  4. April 27, 2018 by Cindy

    I really like the colors that you have chosen!! and I really like how you incorporated the what you recorded from the interview into your plan~

    • April 27, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Cindy! Do you think the color scheme reminds you of nature or does it seem slightly off?

  5. April 27, 2018 by Rachel Dauby

    Hi Jo Ann, your project is so thorough! I really liked the mood board, it was really effective in showing how you wanted the aesthetic of your building to be. I really liked the “build your own playground” portion, it definitely made your project feel more applicable to the general public.

    • April 28, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Rachel! That’s some good feedback!

  6. April 28, 2018 by Soren

    This clearly took lots of time and effort, which clearly shows. The most impressive thing to me is how you made a physical model to provide a 3D aspect to your project. This project sounds really effective, and your work proves it.

    • April 29, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Wow! Thank you for noticing the effort I put into the model! I hope it helped provide the feel for the final layout.

  7. April 29, 2018 by Emma

    This is a super cool project. You were clearly very thorough with your research and designing. I love that you incorporated aspects of both what the parents wanted from your interview and what the kids thought. I also love that you drew inspiration from other play spaces that you’ve seen in the past. This project is clearly very close to home for you (literally!) and I think that showed in your project. You clearly care a lot about your community. Great job!

    • April 29, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Emma! Your comment means a lot!

  8. April 29, 2018 by Vanshika

    Jo Ann I am sooooooo proud of you!! This is seriously amazing! I really love how detailed everything you incorporated was and how you included the thoughts and ideas of parents and kids, but still made it unique to you. You should really propose this idea to Woodhaven. I think the playspace would be a huge success!

    • April 30, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Vanshika! Maybe I should propose this idea to Woodhaven. Hopefully, it’ll be a success!

  9. April 30, 2018 by Kira Johnson

    Hi Jo Ann! I love how your project turned out. Not only is the post itself really well laid-out, but all of your research and models are super detailed. It’s obvious that you worked really hard on this. Good job!

    • April 30, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Kira! Our zoom call definitely helped me to be more productive and get straight into it so thank you!

  10. April 30, 2018 by Grace

    Wow. This is the most interesting and thought out project I have seen yet! I never have thought about the importance of play grounds until this presentation. It is inspirational the steps you are taking to get one in your community to better the lives of children that live there. Great job! I am amazed.

    • April 30, 2018 by Jo Ann Chai

      Thank you Grace! Your comment makes me feel happy about the importance of my project!

  11. May 01, 2018 by Hannah Siegel

    This project was so incredible! I love the tone you used throughout and the interactive nature of the page. I can tell how much you value kids’ health and happiness, as well as your community. I love the final design, and all the meticulous work you did in creating it. It was a great idea to interview local parents to get a feel for the space. I love how you combined sources of inspiration, like your mood board and parent feedback, with the careful planning of the floor plan, etc. Fantastic job!!

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