explore slinky: CAUKIN studio's twisting playground in sierra leone

explore slinky: CAUKIN studio's twisting playground in sierra leone

CAUKIN studio takes to west africa in the design and build of the sierra leone ‘slinky’ playground. in the development of the sculptural timber project, the team worked closely with the simon jen primary school, the first school in sierra leone’s village of masama. envisioned and funded by simon and jen david, founders of the kambia district foundation, the school provides free education for nearly four hundred students between the ages of four and eleven, while employing seven local teachers. with a huge demand for education and large numbers of local children, the school is immensely overfilled with some classes occupied by over eighty students.

caukin slinky
images by samantha litherland, adi scott



CAUKIN studio collaborates with a team of locals and international participants in the design and build of its ‘slinky’ palyground in sierra leone. the project was conceived together with the kambia district foundation to offer the opportunities for young children to explore, challenge, and enjoy themselves in a safe environment. the local skill and material knowledge together with twelve international participants and the planning of the team at CAUKIN works perfectly, seeing multiple onsite discussions and in-situ design decisions.

caukin slinky



the twisting, wireframe geometry of CAUKIN studio’s ‘slinky’ playground in sierra leone grows by a series of pre-fabricated square frames. each frame comprises two layers of local timber, tirelessly laminated together into double strength sections. the square portals are then organized to generate a snaking ‘slinky’ that weaves between the existing palm trees, through the school fields, and up the steep, sloping plot.

caukin slinky



as the slinky playground by CAUKIN makes its way toward the school, it takes an abrupt stop and begins its accent vertically, creating the first tower. bending frames crank upward to the sky, with plenty of integrated climbing holds inviting children to explore. once at the top of the tower, the occupant is presented with a sweeping view in each direction, now able to survey the lush, jungle scene that surrounds the school. across a narrow connecting bridge to the second of the two towers, the slinky proceeds to curve back down toward the earth and plummet directly back to solid ground through a series of horizontally suspended frames.

caukin slinky

explore slinky: CAUKIN studio's twisting playground in sierra leone

explore slinky: CAUKIN studio's twisting playground in sierra leone

caukin slinky




P200 Section 1.100

project info:


project title: slinky playground

architecture: CAUKIN studio

location: masama, sierra leone

build length: four weeks

project leaders: samantha litherland and harry thorpe

international participants: david mahon, patricia ntagoma cinama, toyosi kukoyi, jonathan mead, adi scott, dan jones, jen and simon david

partners: the kambia district foundation

donors: jen and simon david, kirsty shore, dan jones, the kambia district foundation, peter litherland, isabel litherland

engineering: centrespace design

photography: samantha litherland and adi scott


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