In late 2017, Melbourne Airport launched a new children’s playground that included a rope climbing structure and a set of connected cubes, designed to encourage creative development and innovative play.
The playground, designed and implemented by Innovative Retail, is intended for children aged 2-10 years old with a focus on encouraging development through play. It was opened to the public in December 2017 at Gate 11 next to the retail and dining precinct in the brand new T2 International Terminal.
The playspace features a rope climbing structure and a line of sculptural connected cubes by PLAYTIME Softplay systems. The cimbing ropes are designed to develop children’s coordination and grand-motor skills while the cubes allow for the kids to create their own style of play.
“We’ve worked closely with Melbourne Airport to deliver a colourful and engaging playspace that seamlessly fits within the Terminal, as well as catering to the needs of families and children travelling at Christmas time and throughout the year,” said Dale Smorgon, the CEO of Innovative Retail.
Drawing on 25 years of design experience across more than 700 retail locations globally, the team at Innovative Retail wanted to create a fun experience for the whole family. “For kids to get active and be creative in the playspace,” explained Smorgon, “while parents relax before their flight and enjoy food from favourites such as Brunetti, Two Johns and the newly announced BaXa."
Health, safety and hygiene is a primary priority for Innovative Retail; all equipment is guaranteed to be constructed to the highest quality and safety standards. The playground successfully meets the relevant Australian Safety protocols and has been certified by an accredited safety auditor, leaving no room for error.
The chief of Retail at Melbourne Airport, Andrew Gardiner, explained, “We are committed to continually improving traveler experience at the Airport. With more families travelling with children at Christmas time than any other time of the year, it’s great to be able to provide an innovative playspace to keep youngsters entertained while their parents relax in our brand-new retail and dining precinct at Terminal 2.”
There is a rapidly rising trend towards all public precincts becoming more family-oriented and providing solutions for restless children, especially in an airport where the prospect of a long, restless flight looms over parent's heads. Innovative Retail, through recent research, discovered that 90 percent of shoppers agreed that playspaces for children in large public spaces greatly improved the overall experience.
As this is the second airport playground Innovative Retail has designed in Australia, and the first to include a rope climbing structure, the playspace marks a turning point for Australian airports to implement family-friendly spaces that will improve public mood and encourage childhood development.