Project Name: PROSPECT MEMORIAL GARDENS PLAYSPACE
Recipient: Outerspace Landscape Architects
Client: City of Prospect
Project address: Menzies Crescent Adelaide SA 5082
City of Prospect is an inner urban community of approximately 21,200 people, located immediately north of the City of Adelaide. Prospect Memorial Gardens is located centrally within the City of Prospect and is Council’s most regional park and sporting precinct. In 2011, Outerspace Landscape Architects were engaged to develop designs for a new regional play space which was developed over three stages. This allowed Council to apply for multiple rounds of funding and implement a scheme that activated multiple spaces with the park and has become an attraction to the wider Adelaide community.
The brief for the Prospect Memorial Gardens Play Space Redevelopment was to create an iconic destination that would be highly inclusive to the diverse socioeconomic demographic of the City of Prospect. The consultation process included interactive displays where Council staff were able to engage directly with children and their parents. This process created a close bond with the children and their parents which revealed a theme of ‘natural play’ and ‘the enchanted gardens’. By having the community adopt a theme, the project team were given greater clarity of direction when determining future design possibilities and consultation processes. The inclusive consultation process has won the City of Prospect a PIA Award.
Inclusiveness is a part of the very fabric of the play space; it has been designed to include senior, junior and nature play elements. These zones were blended and connected by a looped path that allows disability access to permeate to all the elements of ‘the enchanted garden’, this enhances the diverse culture interaction that the design team wanted to occur.
Nature play is the linking element and epicentre of the play space. It allows children from all ages and backgrounds to feel a part of ‘the enchanted garden’. This zone links the junior play and senior play spaces seamlessly together so children can be adventurous while allowing them to watch and learn from each other. The senior play zone is designed for children of an older age to be audacious and active without the close supervision of parents and includes South Australia’s first ‘Trii House’. This area includes large play equipment that allows children to climb and explore in the tree tops while a maze of plantings and paths at ground level help connect ‘the enchanted garden’ to the rest of the reserve.
In responding to an Elected Member requirement for the play space to be fenced, rather than providing a standard fence which would serve to delineate the play space form the rest of the reserve, the design team addressed this requirement by creating an artistic gateway to the enchanted garden within a landscaped setting. It’s not a barrier but a gateway into a new enchanted space for children’s imaginations to come to life.
Locally sourced timber logs, sculptural elements and rocks were used to help incorporate best practice sustainability. Native, low maintenance, hardy plantings were used to provide colour and contrast while they were also used so they could withstand children’s exploration needs. These plantings additionally highlight the importance of creating strong biodiversity for the City of Prospect.