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Z-Stream, Sudeley Castle

  • Winchcombe, United Kingdom
  • Kenny Schachter, Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Elliot McDonald
  • Complete
  • Z-Stream dimensions: 992 x 198 x 237cm, Height of slide platform: 148cm, Volume: 6.3m3

The theme for Reconstruction 3, an annual art installation at Sudeley Castle, was ‘art and play’. Selected artists were invited to produce interactive sculptural installations based on this idea within the castle grounds. The studio’s interpretation of the brief was to create a slide for children and adults alike. Entitled the Z-stream, it emerged like a gleaming ribbon from a fissure in the rolling Gloucestershire landscape.

  • Photo
  • Photo
  • Drawing

Rather than following the typical climb-descent action of conventional slides, the Z-stream allows for different types of play on a single structure. It incorporates two slides with varying speeds: a longer, slower slope for young children and a fast slope for older children and adults. Access to the slide is via gill-like steps, which emerge from the side of its body and extend to provide a hiding place for children playing below. The slide’s two surfaces – one in lacquered fibreglass, the other matt rubber – meet to create a seam, which flows through the piece to give a sense of modulating speed and direction. Ridges in the surface of the rubber provide a grip for older children to climb or hang from, and another means to access the top of the slide.

The Z-stream is constructed with steel-reinforced milled polystyrene to enable its large cantilever, and for stability, it is anchored by two points at the foot of the slide and a third in the centre. Its functionality is as versatile as its approach to play – the piece can be installed in different locations, either on a plinth on a flat area of ground or partially buried in the natural incline of the landscape, as at Sudeley.

Architect

ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

Design

Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Team

Maha Kutay, Dylan Baker-Rice