Riverside Green Playground


Recipient: RPS and Urban Play

Client: City Parkland Transition Services Pty Ltd

  • Wendy Badger
  • Shaun Walsh

Project team: 

  • Glen Power (Formerly RPS)
  • Rob Guthrie RPS
  • Zoe Lyons RPS
  • Ben Urban Urban Play

Project address: Southbank, Brisbane QLD 4000

As one of Queensland’s premium tourist destinations, Southbank attracts not only local residents but national and international families alike. With a focus on innovation and inclusive play opportunities, Riverside Green was designed to encourage a sense of community and wellbeing amongst this diverse group of users.

Utilising Southbank’s existing landforms and famous city vistas, Riverside Green was built on the philosophy that the landscape is the playground and the equipment is the activator. Designed to support and complement each other seamlessly, the natural camber of the setting provided a unique opportunity for play space innovation through the creation of multi-level play precincts featuring dedicated development zones.

The parks subtle segmentation appeals to visitors all ages and abilities by providing a range of active and passive play opportunities. The terraced timber decks and rolling grassy lawn offers a tranquil viewing platform over the playground and Brisbane River, providing passive exchanges for parents and children alike, while the extensive ‘green’ and purpose built picnic zone encourage positive community engagement and wellbeing through outdoor interaction.

Inspired by Southbank’s famous Bougainvillea arbour, the active playground bursts with colour in vibrant pinks, greens and blue. Ranging from toddler to teens and parents in between, age appropriate play equipment has been carefully assembled in the play precinct, providing four challenging yet safe play environments for children of all physical and intellectual abilities.

A dedicated toddler zone has been designed to encourage interaction and engagement among the younger years and their parents, through the provision of a safe and inclusive play environment. Overlooking the playground from an upper terrace level, the toddler zone is easily accessed via an equitable path design and multiple access points. Also featuring a custom pirate ship, the structure demonstrates universal, inclusive design through the inclusion of ADA stairs which provide transfer points for children in mobility devices, ergonomically placed grip and grasp holes to support upper body strength, low, mid and upper level play opportunities, undercover areas providing a retreat and passive play opportunities, as well clear colour distinction for association and stimulation activities.

The moving and swinging zone features the ever popular Supernova (6+ years of age), 3m high swing set (3+ years) and the all-inclusive Mouse House roller (6+ years). The zone is featured over two levels to provide clear paths of movement and allowances for the forced movement zones, with all items offering inclusive play opportunities to encourage group communication and interactions. In particular, the Supernova features a transfer height of 450mm, and a broad rotating ring enabling multiple children to stand, sit or straddle the disk to appeal to all physical abilities.

A 15 metre embankment zone segments the lower level from the adventure zone, 2 metres above. Featuring an extra wide embankment slide to encourage parent interaction, mountaineering ropes to promote upper body strength and rubber embankment straps to promote balance and hand/eye coordination, this series of play equipment create a fluid yet challenging interaction between play segments. Integrated hardscape design offers an additional level of play discovery, with its wide, smooth concrete form providing adventurous and challenging interface experiences between softscapes and play pads.

The final adventure zone is perhaps the most impressive with its 7.5 meter sky cabins interconnected by a series of rope bridges and multiple slide experiences. Accessible by a variety of age appropriate rope tunnels and climbing nets, this elevated play experience provides children the freedom to explore and challenge personal boundaries through self-managed risk assessment and perceived independence. Also posing as a beacon for the popular play destination, Southbank’s Riverside Green is truly a destination the whole family will love.