Annabelle Park’s massive upgrade has been a huge success for Ipswich City Council. With this playspace opening just before the school holidays – their achievements have been more than recognised in the popularity of the park with toddlers and teenagers alike.
Having requested a play space where children of all ages could play together in zones nestled in and amongst the trees, Playscape Creations were engaged to design the playground, shade and to complete all constructions. Careful consideration was given to working with the natural landscape and capturing the natural shade and beauty of the surrounding trees. In particular, the large central tree that is home to Owls and Kookaburras was required to remain a centrepiece of the play space.
All ability opportunities promoting truly inclusive play were incorporated in various ways. The first Friendship Swing to be installed here in Australia allows people of all ages and abilities to swing together in a unique face to face configuration – be it friends or parent and child. Rubber paths link the swing with the surround concrete pathways and to the Inclusive Orbit Carousel.
There is truly something for everyone in this playspace. Our Landscape Architect custom designed the play unit to ‘wrap’ around the tree and critically stay out of the root zone of the trees. Starting low and building up to the highest open double slide available in the Australian market, this unit was designed to challenge children as they get bigger and offer a massive amount of play value. Latest Elev8 items were incorporated into the design that are designed to push children’s boundaries taking them to 2.44m high decks, and allowing them to learn to assess risk, important aspects of learning through play.
Linking children back to nature was important to Council, so we designed a custom ‘seek and find’ animal panel, based on creatures found in the natural surrounds. Medallions featuring each animal are ‘hidden’ around the play structure encouraging children to search around the playground and spot the abundant Australian wildlife. A second insect anatomy panel is included in the junior section with another set of medallions to promote exploration across the ages. Hand painted concrete rock walls from our Canyon Climbers collection not only offer unlimited climbing routes but also provide ground based discovery features with fossils, animals and insects beautifully hand painted and moulded into the rocks and cave of the climbing walls.
Colours were chosen from our extensive colour pallette to blend in with the natural surrounds with splashes of red highlighting the exciting bold parts of the main play structure. Seamless zoning has been brought together through the use of sandstone blocks for both retention and seating but also to help separate the to toddler area so they can play outside the hustle and bustle of the bigger children. Playscape Creations’ shade solution also provided for the natural light filtering through the trees while still offering the best sun coverage, creating a playspace at one with the natural environment.
On the local Councillor’s Facebook page positive comments abound – “1000 thumbs up from Mr 5”, “it’s so big and caters for all ages”, “great to see the info boards on animals and bugs etc”. A the end of the day, it’s about healthy happy communities so we’re thrilled we’ve been able to help contribute to that here.
So many photos – there are just too many highlights on this playground not to try and show them all!