The existing play offering at Roma Street Parklands was largely disconnected and under utilised and City Parklands Transition Services, managers of both Roma Street Parklands and Southbank, contracted ourselves in partnership with Lat27, a specialist Landscape Architect firm to improve and integrate the play experience, with particular emphasis on botanical wonderment in a natural play environment. The basic ingredients, including dramatic landform, expansive shade trees and the ability to expand on the adjacent parkland experience were plentiful, yet needed careful planning and strategy to ensure the best play space was established to stand the test of time.
Through consultation with our own design professionals and major manufacturing partner, Landscape Structures, we were able to offer a unique play system utilising both customised and proprietary product. The overall playspace has been built into the natural landform to offer a graduated play experience from the main structure to the upper level via 3 extended rope bridges, creating an “Indiana Jones” climbing experience. An enclosed slide over 6m long dropping more than 3m allows users a quick return to base level, and a “lollipop” climber and fun hand hold and rope climb access up and down the rubberised embankment wall also allows users to traverse different levels through a number of play opportunities.
This system offers challenging play for a variety of age groups, based around a nature themed GFRC (Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete) tree trunk to blend with its natural setting. Wood look recycled paneling gives the structure a real “tree house” feel – nature theming with manufactured quality and durability. GFRC features are incorporated throughout the playspace with a log balance beam, log crawl tunnel and mushroom steppers as seating in the magical garden area. Added to that are bespoke, hand crafted items like the wood totems balance ropes, and our 4.6m high Teepee, further connecting the play experience to the broader fabric of the Parklands.
Despite all the fun, design strategies were incorporated to enhance the passive surveillance and CPTED principles, and minimise the complexity of maintenance and whole of life costs in order to hand over a high quality asset to City Parklands at the end of the project.
The project was ultimately delivered by Jmac Constructions, the Principal Contractors on site, with our team working closely with their programme to ensure a seamless delivery of the project.