Australia’s Best Playground

Prospect Memorial Gardens Play Space

Outerspace and the City of Prospect recently entered our play space at Prospect Memorial Gardens into the first ever ‘Australia’s Best Playground’ competition.

While we weren’t successful in the process it was great to see the breadth and variety of parks and play spaces being developed across the country.

Thanks to all the community members and playground enthusiasts who voted for our entry in the Australia’s Best Playground category!

Why our play space should win

The brief for the Prospect Memorial Gardens Play Space Redevelopment was to create an iconic destination that would be highly inclusive to the diverse socio-economic demographic of the City of Prospect. The consultation process included interactive displays where Council staff were able to engage directly with children and their parents.  This process created a close bond with the children and their parents which revealed a theme of ‘natural play’ and ‘the enchanted gardens’.  By having the community adopt a theme, the project team were given greater clarity of direction when determining future design possibilities and consultation processes.  The inclusive consultation process has won the City of Prospect a PIA Award.

Nature play is the linking element and epicentre of the play space. It allows children from all ages and backgrounds to feel a part of ‘the enchanted garden’. This zone links the junior play and senior play spaces seamlessly together so children can be adventurous while allowing them to watch and learn from each other.  The senior play zone is designed for children of an older age to be audacious and active without the close supervision of parents and includes South Australia’s first ‘Trii House’. This area includes large play equipment that allows children to climb and explore in the tree tops while a maze of plantings and paths at ground level help connect ‘the enchanted garden’ to the rest of the reserve.

In responding to an Elected Member requirement for the play space to be fenced, rather than providing a standard fence which would serve to delineate the play space form the rest of the reserve, the design team addressed this requirement by creating an artistic gateway to the enchanted garden within a landscaped setting.  It’s not a barrier but a gateway into a new enchanted space for children’s imaginations to come to life.

Locally sourced timber logs, sculptural elements and rocks were used to help incorporate best practice sustainability. Native, low maintenance, hardy plantings were used to provide colour and contrast while they were also used so they could withstand children’s exploration needs. These plantings additionally highlight the importance of creating strong biodiversity for the City of Prospect.

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