Winning Project:

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Gardenby Aspect Studios

Award Finalists:

Armstrong Regional Park by MDG Landscape Architects

Jo Wheatley Playground by Architects of Arcadia

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Lily Pads by Inspiring Place

Scarborough Beach Park Southern Upgrade by Aspect Studios

Winning Project Details -

Structural Engineer: Lindsay Dynan Consulting Engineers

Fabricator: Fleetwood Urban

Builder: Design Landscapes

Photographer: Brett Boardman

Location: Sydney, NSW

Award sponsor:

Project description:

This WILD PLAY Garden is a botanical wonderland which encourages children to open their minds to imaginative play in nature. Unique timber features are vital to the design, drawing people in and forming an integral part of the play experience.
‘The treehouse’ includes ‘nest’ lookouts that are accessible by a series of timber platforms, a swing bridge and stepped log. The upper nest features a timber curved spine, made from short hardwood pieces linked together with threaded rods. A giant slide leaves the top nest and weaves through bamboo planting down to the forest floor below. An assembly of large Grey Box planks and called ‘The Eel’, sweep through established fig trees to create a series of balance elements that evoke the skeleton of the famed Centennial Park Eel. Children climb over it and play in the sandpit which is framed by the eel’s mouth.
Native Australian hardwoods Grey Box, Spotted Gum and Blackbutt were chosen for their natural beauty and endurance and to foster a love of timber in new generations. The play space illustrates how landscape architecture can inspire a deep love and respect of nature in children, ultimately leading to advocacy and stewardship of natural systems and a more resilient and harmonious future.