CREATING A COMMUNITY
At the heart of any development are the communal spaces which bring people together.
Brooks Reach is a Stockland development on the New South Wales south coast; a picturesque, family-friendly master-planned residential community near Dapto. At completion, Brooks Reach will include 630 home sites set over 70 hectares and will feature parks, cycle ways and wide, open spaces.
Completed in October 2012, Emu Park, constructed by Simpson Landscapes, sits within the development and was designed to create a playspace, with BBQ area and toilet facilities, for the local community. Children of the local community played a large part in the design of the park.
The park has many different finishes and surfaces that work together and flow through the park. Varying levels and colours add a sense of movement and interest. It also allows multiple and separate areas for gathering, play and recreation. Different colours on surfaces also makes the design stand out.
To keep the space feeling close to nature and not built-up, large areas of grass and mass plantings were included. The community wanted grassy open spaces to throw down a picnic blanket, kick off their shoes and feel the joy of grass and nature beneath their feet.
A basketball court was included in the design for the bigger kids and adults to enjoy, along with a dinky track around a section of the playground. a covered shelter over seating and the BBQ provides welcome relief from the sun or rain for parents wanting to keep a close eye over their children enjoying the park facilities.
While playground equipment is generally designed and installed to suit the little ones, this project tried to utilise playground equipment which would cater to all ages. And, in a sign of the times, the toilet facilities are fully automated and self-cleaning.
Retaining walls and footpaths were built out of a special concrete mix and sand blasted to expose the aggregate in walls. Wet-pour stone was used for permeable paving around an existing established tree.
The completed park is a space that is sure to be treasured by the lucky community who live there.
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