Water - the central theme of Captune World in Istanbul

Water - the central theme of Captune World in Istanbul

The Capitol Shopping Center was opened in 1993 as the first shopping mall in the Asian side of Istanbul in Turkey. The six-storied building with its total floor area of 73,000 m2 is home to 157 retail outlets, a major department store, a supermarket, eight cinemas, fast food restaurants, cafés, bowling alleys, an entertainment centre and even houses its own radio station. From the very outset, the aim of the operators was to provide visitors with a buying experience innovatively embedded within an ambience offering not just shopping, but also entertainment, culture and art. The gigantic indoor fountain in the centre of the mall represents the main attention-getter and magnet for the millions of visitors the Capitol Shopping Center attracts every year.

Water - or rather the sea - is also a core theme of the creative indoor play space for children called 'Captune World' that has been developed by eibe in the shopping centre. The design for Captune World was drawn up by Concept-i in 2016. It has four main zones that offer edutainment, soft play, a loft2play space and gaming machines. The subjects of town, sea and forest have been incorporated to bring the children, most of whom will be familiar only with the crowded life in a major conurbation, closer to the natural world. Hence the objectives of 'Captune World' are also to open up new perspectives, provide an alternative to the traditional forms of indoor play spaces and show that education and entertainment can be effectively combined in untroubled, natural-like surroundings. The play world can accommodate up to 40 children at any one time and offers attractions especially developed to appeal to different age groups. The 3 - 5 year-olds can romp around under supervision in the soft play zone while the 6 - 10 year-olds can embark on exciting adventures in the edutainment zone and the large loft2play space.

The loft2play system devised by eibe, also known as the 'second level', represents the centrepiece of many group and activity spaces in conventional educational institutes; thanks to the ingenious modular concept that allows for unlimited modification, it can be adapted to the needs of almost all spatial situations. This structuring of spaces in different levels provides the opportunity to offer children zones of different forms of experience, such as areas where they can relax and withdraw and areas that encourage them to be active. Motivating children to take physical exercise and develop their capacities is particularly important, especially in young children. For those at the crawling and toddling stage, platform landscapes are ideal when it comes to learning how to balance. The system generally inspires children to play and be active while also offering them somewhere where they can retreat to read, hide or even sleep. The use of themes (maritime, mountains, forest) promotes role play. The assortment of available components (railings, access ways, slides, stairways etc.) is enormous as is the colour range. This means that loft2play features can be constructed exactly in accordance with the wishes of the children and can be fitted into play spaces provided in hotels, airports and shopping malls. The unique 'desert island' on two levels developed specifically for Captune World provides the little 'pirates' who land there with various hidey holes, tunnels, several play pads, a ladder, two slides and a ball pool. The use of small wooden elements in the shape of palm leaves, birds and bananas creates a link with the 'forest' theme, allowing the play feature to blend in seamlessly with the overall concept. Parents can watch over their children as they play in a special area reserved for families.

The highlight of Captune World is eibe's massive, tailor-made play attraction from its 'unique' range. The main problems encountered during the design and construction were provided by the spatial configurations. It was necessary to fit the play attraction with its height of nearly 6.5 metres in a room that has just under 7 metres of headroom; in addition, part of the structure was to be installed on a 3.2 metre-high platform and then linked with the section at ground level by net and jungle bridges. By negotiating other challenging ascending sections, ramps and rope bridges, the user reaches the two stainless steel slides with a drop height of 4.5 metres; the fast-paced trip down on these makes the climb worthwhile.

Other major difficulties that needed to be overcome were the installation and also the transport of the sections to the site. Because Captune World is located on one of the higher floors of the centre, it was not possible to bring the posts, roof and wall elements, tube slides, nets and other components directly by vehicle to the construction site; in the case of the slides, for example, it was necessary to take these to pieces and transport them by hand up on the escalators of the shopping centre outside its normal opening hours (10 am - 10 pm) to avoid disturbing the visitors. Height differences in the case of the floor and the usual tight schedule did not make things any easier for the eibe team, but everything was ready by the planned opening deadline and the client was more than satisfied with the result

"Captune World is an excellent example of what we can achieve and is the epitome of our claim to ensure that all our customers are 'absolutely delighted'," points out Ben Eichinger, eibe's export manager in the light of the impressive transformation of the play space in the Capitol Shopping Center. "An outstanding concept combined with excellent design and a fantastic blend of products from our playground, furnishings, sport and play ranges were the keys to success here. Confirmation of its appeal is provided by the fact that hundreds of happy children take possession of the attraction every day while the shopping mall itself profits from the fact that parents can thus be compelled to significantly extend their visit to the centre.”

 

Photo: eibe Produktion + Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG

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