Four second year UCL students have built a ball pit in their flat

They’re inviting you to come and visit

On the first night in their student flat, second year students Sadhbha, Molly, Danny and Arthur decided that there was something missing. For most people at UCL, that would likely be a living room, or the sense that you're living in something other than a glorified pig pen, but for these four students it was something else entirely.

The flat gives the credit of the ball pit idea to Arthur. The idea came to him after their first flat meal, when the flatmates got drunk and started brainstorming how to deck out the flat.

They were struggling with what to do with an awkward room next to the kitchen that had originally had an ironing board in it – which realistically no one in the flat was going to use at uni. Naturally this discussion escalated to the decision of turning the room into the ball pit.

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Arthur, Sadhbha and Danny enjoying the balls with friend Hassan

According to the flat second- hand balls were not an option – “we wanted premium balls” – so Arthur took it upon himself to research suppliers to find the best ball combination he could and get them delivered. But that was just the beginning.

Arthur took all the balls out after their first installation to put down protective mats and futons. He has also sent the fabric door home to his mum to sew to Velcro, so they have a sturdier door way into the pit – no detail is being left untouched.

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“It’s a porthole to a parallel universe”

According to Danny, “there’s a lot under the surface that you don’t see.”

Sadhba and Molly take credit for the creative design of the ball pit. The ball pit was a collective creation by the flat, a project, they admit they probably put more passion into than their degrees, but the results are definitely worth it. “The pink LEDs were specifically chosen and curated as our precept colours for the ball pit”. The Ball Pit has become “an art instillation” right next to the kitchen.

Arthur, a UCL basketball player, described how in his childhood he always had a hoop on the back of his door to chuck balls in for practice, saying "now I have an endless supply of balls, my hoop has found it’s place in the ball pit. Balls are my element."

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Arthur's love of balls started at an early age.

The flat also believe that their mental health has improved as a result of the ball pit. Molly admitted that “it’s a lot more fun learning vocab in there, than at my desk,” and Danny remarked on how if every student halls had a ball pit then student mental health would probably improve.

There was one statement the flatmates all agreed on though, with all four saying “we love balls”.

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Molly and Hassan prefer to do their uni reading in the ball pit

The ball pit is not all it seems though. The weirdest thing the flat have found in the ball pit so far is a person. Apparently, one evening Arthur invited a load of mates round to the flat without telling anyone, and the next morning each of the flatmates woke up at different times to one another each encountering the same mystery man asleep in their ball pit. Molly ended up having a nice chat with the mystery man she found in the ball pit over breakfast: “I made us a pot of coffee and had a really pleasant conversation with him for half an hour before my lecture”. The mystery man turned out to be Micah, one of the exclusive ball pit’s first guests.

Hassan is one of the ball pit's lucky guests. He prefers to read Chaucer for his English degree in there

So what's next for the ball pit? Danny is planning on filming a music video in there for his next album, and a naked calendar shoot for charity is also in the early stages. The flat has even had ideas to turn it into a Student Day Care Centre, as the flat is just around the corner from UCL, it would be easy to dive into some balls between lectures for students stressed with essays, assignments and exams.

The flat said that they would make students tea and apparently Sadhbha and Molly are even planning on doing a masseuse course to ease the muscular pains of other students. Danny and Arthur have both been cocktail trained by the Bloomsbury Set, so are thinking of opening- up a cocktail bar next to the ball pit in the kitchen to make guests a drink whilst they sink into the balls.

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The ball pit connects directly to the kitchen where cocktails and tea can be prepared for guests.

The flat have invited me back to see future developments to the ball pit, as they add more features and “upgrades”… the addition of a smoke machine and over-head projector to play Planet Earth on the walls was also promised. We’ll see next time if the weirdest thing they’ve found in the pit is still going to be a random man or, if after their party, there are more surprises lurking under the balls waiting to be found.