Project Name: LIZARD LOG PLAYGROUND
The Western Sydney Parklands Trust engaged McGregor Coxall to revitalise and extend the parks facilities by first undertaking a master plan and then designing and documenting the master plan. This included an upgrade and extension to the existing toilet blocks, BBQ and picnic facilities, redevelopment of the children’s play area, the development of an events space and access bridge along with the construction of a significant new car park.
A sensitive response to the rural nature of the site, underpinned by a strong sustainable strategy, drove the site’s redesign. Power for the site is generated by solar panels, toilet flushing utilises dam water, all grey water is reused for irrigation and recycled materials are used where possible. The play area extends this concept by introducing recycled water through a children’s play pump and water course system within a unique play experience that both excites and delights. McGregor Coxall worked closely with the client over a number of years to deliver a project that not only met but exceeded these requirements. The resulting design was constructed over 3 stages. Since completion of stages 1 and 2, visitation numbers increased by over 40% per annum from 198,000 (July 2011 to June 2012) to 277,000 (July 2012 to June 2013) visitors per annum.
The design intent facilitated by concrete was to communicate lizard log a one large free flowing playground landscape. The park design is woven together with a layer of winding concrete paths that interconnect to provide an engaging movement system for both pedestrians and cyclists. In the car park the origin of these pathways juxtaposed with the dark bitumen emphases loose vehicular and pedestrian access zoning. The single from balustrade bridge further allows access and egress for oversized vehicular traffic enabling the site to cater for large scale community events.
As the first built project for the Western Sydney Parklands Trust, Lizard log Park required a design encapsulating the goals and objects for the parklands within a framework that could cater for the local demographics. The project had to deliver a high-end, self sustaining environmental outcome. The team delivered a project that not only met but exceeded these requirements. Lizard log park offers a benchmark project for the outer western Sydney region, providing high end innovative material use which engages with the local ecological and public environments.
The Design sets new benchmarks for environmentally responsible park design delivering a high-end environmental outcome reflecting the agenda of making the park as self-sustaining as possible. This aim was achieved by a self-generating solar power supply and approach to water re-use. The project was driven by a protect, enhance, and regenerate sustainability emphasis. All project materials selected for their robustness, ease of maintenance and long-term durability further provide their own environmental agenda.
All timber elements scaling from mulch to cladding across the site are sourced from recycled timber, the playground structure composed of dead trees felled onsite which were then crafted into play items. No additional topsoil was brought on site and all concrete elements are green star rated EC1 concrete. The design strategy of highlighting water scarcity is further fulfilled in site car parks which are based on a “no pipe” ecological filtering system. Here ground water flow bypasses the traditional pit and pipe system and is navigated to an open wetland swale that captures and cleans the water before discharging into the site dam for reuse. This strategy celebrates the ephemeral rain events allowing visitors to understand the water flows and organization embedded in the park’s design.