Wellington Point Playspace is brimming with waterside charm to delight both the young and the young at heart
Discovery, learning and interaction were some of the key themes when Wellington Point Playspace was designed and built. Located in a 5.8ha reserve at Wellington Point in Queensland, the area has undergone a number of changes in its time. The design team – a unique collaboration between Leo Lange and Playground designer Ric McConaghy – drew on the area’s rich history when creating the playspace.
The playspace is located at the western side of the reserve, under a stand of mature fig trees. Accommodating the existing trees and their root system was part of the design brief with careful excavations carried out to determine exactly where the tree's roots were.
Bands of gravels and porous paving were then used to ensure playspace construction did not damage the root system and play equipment was also adjusted to ensure it did not interfere with the tree canopy.
“It was imperative that the final design and construction reflect and draw from the local setting and complement the landscape rather than dominate it,” says project designer, Leon Lange.
“To that end, sensitive use of materials were incorporated. Our intention was to create a sense of place and a space for exploration and discovery for all users.”
A twisting serpent is a key design element in Wellington Point Playspace with play opportunities ‘created in nodes’ along the serpent’s shape – created with striped bands of porous paving that allows water penetration and easy access for wheelchairs. Children can ‘play along the way’ as they make their way along the serpent and then, if they wish, they can spend longer at the larger play destinations.
A fish maze acknowledges the use of the land by indigenous cultures to catch fish. The artwork for the maze was commissioned through a local artist and carried out with local school children and with the representative of the local Quandamooka Aboriginal community.
Before WWII, Wellington Point was a popular camping ground and during WWII a home to visiting US soldiers who used the Point for target practice. This inspired the playspace’s battleship game.
The rest of the play equipment picks up on the area’s close links with boats, water and turtles. The climbing equipment reflects the fun of climbing the nearby fig trees while providing a useful distraction to discourage people from actually climbing the majestic figs.
The attention to detail and depth of creativity that has gone into creating Wellington Point Playspace saw Lange Design win the Allan Correy Award for Design Excellence in the 2009 Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers (AILDM) Awards.
“This wonderful collaboration between Leon (Lange) and playground designer Ric McConaghy was influenced by local indigenous culture, the maritime environment and the area’s history as an American servicemen’s base during WWII and then as an unofficial waterfront camp ground. The new playground gives children a wide variety of play experiences,” said the AILDM judges.
“Climbing, throwing, balancing, exploring, swinging, jumping and hiding are some of the active play experiences, with lots of opportunities for imaginative games as well.”
In Wellington Point designers have created a unique space to be loved by young and old alike.
Ph: 07 3206 6848
Designers: Leon Lange of Lange Design and Ric McConaghy
Client: Redlands Shire Council
Construction: Digit Landscapes
Suppliers: Play Works, Megatoy, Design ‘n’ Play
Artists: Carol Roche and Aunty Margaret Iselin