Working with the teams from Moreton Bay Regional Council and Landscape Architects O2LA, we are so proud and excited to share with you the final designs for the Adventure Play facility on the site of the old Petrie Paper Mill; now set to become a bustling community gathering space.
As an instrumental part of Petrie’s population and economic growth, the Petrie Mill site is an iconic location that deserves to pay homage to its past resourcing and supply of paper and carton board products to Australia. The bespoke design of this inter-generational recreational area encompasses this historic value in many forms and has both subtle representations of the Mill itself in the play equipment along with detailed information provided within the landscape. The specialised pieces designed for this project embody both the old and the new worlds through the use of large industrial framework reflective of the Mill’s construction and enhanced by the metallic inspired colour palette.
The Entry Statement that leads into the recreational space pays direct homage to the history of the site by creating a representation of the Mill’s smoke stacks and the boxy infrastructure of the building itself. As park goers enter through this archway, they are reminded of the sites’ history with Reprographik printed panels that tell the story of Petrie Mill; its birth, industrial success and the process around the decommissioning and regeneration of the space.
The Adventure Tower
The Adventure Tower echoes the main industrial structure of the Mill itself. The staggered box arrangement gives users a sense of discovery and multiple outlooks while maintaining the straight lines and heavy box section steel frames of the original Mill; expressing the notion of an industrial plant reborn. By providing decorative façade elements in the shape of interconnecting cogs, the machinery used to produce thousands of reams of paper has been re-created.
It is not just the aesthetics of the Tower that add presence to the site; standing at over 8m high, the tower acts as a beacon to draw visitors to the site and entice children to come and play. There are a range of climbing and exploratory challenges throughout, with climbing nets to be traversed over multiple levels before reaching the top and admiring the views across the greater Petrie area.
A truly inter-generational structure, the Adventure Tower delivers comfortable provision for active adult supervision as all spaces – including the slide – are designed to accommodate adults that are big kids at heart too. With slides at both upper and lower levels, children (and adults) of all ages and levels of ability can participate and challenge themselves to explore their limits.
In complement to the invigorating range of experiences within the Tower, the surrounding zones provide both speed and height stimulation with a unique flying fox and mega swing. Promoting upper body strength and exhilarating movement, the flying fox traverses over a 24-metre run, building up speed and height over the full distance. With custom platform entry arches to complement the Entry Statement and Tower, children are encouraged to wait and take turns, promoting cooperative play and community-mindedness.
The central feature of the junior play area is a low to a mid-level system incorporating several types of climbing entry at various heights; accommodating multiple ages in a safe but stimulating way. From imaginative play with peek-a-boo elements and crawl spaces through to collaborative play with shop fronts and balance bridges, this element packs almost unlimited strength building and non-prescribed play activities into a small footprint.
Robust steel legs, high-quality polyethylene slides, sturdy compact grade laminate panels and steel core ropes provide tremendous durability and longevity. Play panels, a bench seat, climbing nets and a playhouse create the perfect environment for children to learn, collaborate and have fun.
Building Proprioceptive and Vestibular Ability
Surrounding the junior play area are several complimentary stand alone activities to entice children to interact with the broader space and seek out their next adventure. The Inclusive Orbit is an all-abilities carousel that promotes inclusion for children of all ages and abilities, where the speed is self-driven and children can participate in thrilling momentum generated by their new friends. Consistent with the notion of momentum and movement, the neighbouring zones contain a Spinner and a Cone Climber, allowing children to expand their proprioceptive abilities and build upper body strength whilst testing their balance and coordination.
Swinging is an important activity in building vestibular capability in children, so a toddler swing has been included to cater to younger age groups. With a box steel, aesthetic design to mirror the other feature elements, a toddler seat and a flat seat have been included so both children and parents can feel comfortable knowing that their child is swinging securely.
The final element that ties together the junior play area with the senior play area is a custom-made embankment slide formed to represent a large roll of paper. The form of the slide itself represents the paper as it comes off the roll – hot off the press – and firmly complements the representation of the site and its history.
From hectares of heavy industrial buildings and chimney stacks, a processing plant, wastewater treatment ponds and landfills to a community focussed green space, secured koala habitat and protected water catchments, the ecologically sound restoration of this area will enhance wildlife habitation and local enjoyment of the area while recognising the desires of the local indigenous community.
With such a varied array of activities to participate in and areas to explore, this exclusive playground design not only pays respect to the site’s rich past but encourages children, families and the wider community to spend quality time seeking the next play experience and guaranteeing repeat future visits.
Learn more about the Petrie Mill Re-development here: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Services/Projects/The-MillTags: custom design, Inclusive Play, Landscape Architecture, Local Council, play for all