Award of Excellence 2017
Onslow Youth Space
Convic Pty Ltd
In a remote location in the Pilbara region of WA a multifunctional play space named the ‘Fish Bowl’ shimmers on the hot surface, an embodied mirage for the local youth. A ground plane of movement inspired by the chambers of a termite mound transforms in three dimensions to a skate park and vibrant community hub.
The constraints of the location were overcome by retaining and recycling as much of the existing infrastructure as possible and in the process testing and delivering new products for the market. As a result, the community has received a space over twice the size of what was initially thought could be achieved for the budget.
Importantly, Convic was committed throughout the process to ensuring that local young people youth were deeply involved with this project. It is an outstanding example of the richness that effective, targeted consultation can bring to a project. Their vested interest in this place will ensure the ongoing life of the space, while also encouraging and teaching a new generation of children the delights of design and engagement.
Landscape Award 2017
Adelaide Zoo Nature’s Playground
Nestled within the Adelaide Zoo, the design of Nature’s Playground explores the themes of the natural world, organising the spaces according to the planet’s major biomes.
Through the use of natural and recycled materials, a neutral colour palette, bespoke play structures and clever integration of existing vegetation, the space evokes a feeling of peeking through the David Attenborough lens at a playspace in its natural habitat.
WAX Design’s approach included an extensive consultation process and a collaboration with Variety the Children’s Charity, which ensured the added benefit that designing for all of the senses can provide. A play space rich in opportunities for exploration and discovery, challenging enough to provide opportunities for risk taking but ultimately a place to have fun and be a child, a delightful space that encourages learning through play.
Landscape Award 2017
The Paddocks Precinct Domain Creek Playground
Set within Parramatta Park, McGregor+Coxall’s design for the Domain Creek Playground is a wonderful example of how to integrate a community facility such as a playground into a World Heritage-listed area, respecting the site’s history while at the same time strongly proclaiming the new intervention.
Locating the play space within the existing trees, in contrast to the original master plan, has provided not only amenity from the sun but also given the space a sense of belonging. Climbing, flying, bouncing, water and sand play have been arranged in a series of play rings designed to provide universal access and engagement.
A design informed by history and place and through extensive community consultation has resulted in a beautiful space sympathetic to its surroundings while providing a socially inclusive play space that provides joy and challenge.