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2001 Victoria and Tasmania State Awards
Landscape Design
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Open Space and Recreation - Merit
Carlton Gardens Playground
Client:
Landscape Architect:
City of Melbourne
Taylor Cullity Lethlean with Mary Jeavons
The Carlton Gardens is one of the premier public open spaces in the City of Melbourne and home to the new Melbourne Museum and the historic Exhibition Building.

The designers reconciled two competing objectives to provide a contemporary playground space, which is also respectful to its historic parkland setting, and to provide children with an environment rich in play opportunities within a landscape that moved beyond the standard playground format.

The design is loosely based on a traditional labyrinth. A series of linear precast concrete walled forms are dissected with paths, and punctured with holes, providing a variety of running, hiding and exploratory experiences.

Amongst the walls, children enter into their own private world and into an area representing a mysterious challenge. The maze is dedicated to non-prescriptive and imaginative play. Undulating ground surfaces, seating edges, balancing walls and musical decks are distributed throughout to heighten discovery.

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J U R Y ' S    C O M M E N T S

In response to a recognised need for a quality playground, Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Mary Jeavons have created an innovative play park of elegant yet robust resolution.

The playground has been conceived with two markedly differing perspectives. Viewed from within the serene confines of the park it blends in with the colours and shapes of the existing landform; while viewed from busy Rathdowne Street it presents a colourful and visually dynamic face. The form of the structures within the playground is strongly influenced by the nearby museum, whilst the overall design of undulating concrete walls is one which is intended to suggest a play maze, a reference to the Victorian history of the site.

The playground creates in the words of Lawrence Halprin, 'the opportunity for events to happen' - a key criteria for good landscape architectural design as well as for successful play spaces.

Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Mary Jeavons are to be congratulated for achieving a distinctive and unified design that respects its historic setting and addresses the demands of creative play for spatial and visual variety. The design development is noted for achieving an artful refinement which is nonetheless strong in its construction enabling it to cope with the impacts of active play.

 

Images
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ability.GIF (2087 bytes) ABILITY BUILDING CHEMICALS is proud to support the AILA 2001 Award for Open Space and Recreation

 

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