Project Name: THE MEGASAURUS PLAYGROUND
Recipient: Urban Edge Landscape Architects
- Urban Edge Landscape Architects: Nick Rose, Soren Inglis, Tabitha Stewart & Kate Jarrett
- Agency of Sculpture: Ben Gilbert
- PEET Limited & Warrandale Industries
Project address: Newington Drive, Cranbourne East VIC 3977
Urban Edge Landscape Architects in collaboration with Agency of Sculpture designed the Megasaurus Playground for land developer Peet Limited. The playground is located in a local neighborhood park at the Livingston Estate in Cranbourne East and was constructed by Warrandale Industries. The planning, design and construction process took 18 months and was opened to the public in March 2016.
Inspired by dinosaurs, the Megasaurus Playground is a one-of-a-kind play space which centers around architecturally designed play equipment to appeal to children’s fascination with dinosaurs. The playground elements include a flying fox covered by a huge 25m long ‘brontosaurus’ dinosaur frame, a 20m long dinosaur climbing frame incorporating climbing nets and a slide, a ‘pterodactyl’ basket swing with tactile steel feathers which form a ‘cubby house’ and a series of stegosaurus climbing plates with climbing holds that incorporate noise making elements.
These oversized play elements are all set amongst a prehistoric inspired landscape. Planting will mature to form areas of shelter and seclusion as well as striking architectural forms. Trees will provide shade and vertical logs provide additional sculptural qualities and height and contrast with the corten steel playground elements. Bold, structural planting provides a range of texture and form including Aloe barbarae (Tree Aloe), Brachychiton rupestris (Queensland Bottle Tree) and Zamia maritima (Cardboard Palm). This is complimented by indigenous planting of Banksia integrifolia (Coastal Banksia), Lomandra sp. (Spiny Headed Mat Rush) and Rhagodia spinescens (Saltbush) to provide habitat opportunities.
The diverse and challenging range of dinosaur playground elements provide play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. In addition, the design allows for imaginative unstructured play opportunities with the inclusion of informal nature play elements of a central, dry creek bed incorporating rocks, logs, stones and planting. Three partially hidden rubber softfall ‘dinosaur eggs’ as well as log steppers and rocks allow for children to develop their imagination as they search for hidden dinosaur eggs amongst indigenous grasses and climb across imaginary lava on log and rock steppers.
Overlooking the playground space and adjacent to an open lawn kick-about-space, a large cantilevered shade structure incorporates a BBQ, drinking fountain and picnic facilities, ensuring appropriate passive surveillance of the playground. Local residents access the park from a number of footpath connections and the wider community connects to the space through a shared pedestrian / bicycle path.
All equipment and materials have been sourced locally with Victorian designers, suppliers, fabricators and builders used. By keeping the project local, construction and delivery timelines were reduced; we had greater control and input in the construction process and achieved significant environmental offsets and benefits. In addition, the vertical logs were salvaged from a paddock that was being cleared just prior to construction commencing.
The Megasaurus Playground provides the Cranbourne East community with a highly original, bespoke playground that establishes a unique and a strong sense of place, as well as a space that the local community can value.