Designing and building public play areas is no simple affair. Today, a lot is demanded of our parkland play spaces and recreational facilities. They have to be beautifully designed, user-friendly, ecologically sensitive, safe and built to the highest construction standards.
The brief from Sutherland Shire Council for the Burnum Burnum Sanctuary Playground at Woronora was to create a play area that would suit children of all ages, be accessible to the disabled and provide an area for quiet contemplation. To achieve this, the new design — which included new play areas, bike tracks and a rest area — needed to work around some existing junior play structures.
Working to a design by UmbarCo Landscape Architects, Simpson Landscapes & Consultants set about creating a recreational area for the families of this southern Sydney suburb that they could use for generations to come.
This was a comprehensive construction project that saw the installation of a variety of recreational facilities and playground equipment such as a cycle way for children and a flying fox. Large turf areas for ball games and other play activities were also part of the brief, while the sandstone creation called “Broken Heart Ruins” is a quiet area to relax and think in.
Simpson Landscapes & Consultants built concrete footpaths and driveways throughout the park to provide better access. These footpaths, along with newly constructed rock edging, concrete edging and concrete seating walls give separation between garden, turf and sand play areas.
Native trees, shrubs and grasses indigenous to the local area were planted to provide future shade, suppress weed growth and, where needed, to guide pedestrians to use footpaths. Using native plants was also key to achieving one of the project’s main goals: to provide habitat for local fauna.
No construction project is without its challenges and in this instance, ensuring good drainage and creating the desired levels (in particular, establishing level changes to work with existing structures while still maintaining level areas to play on), required particular care and attention. The handling and installation of vast quantities of materials also required careful management, but in the experienced hands of the Simpson Landscapes & Consultants construction team, all issues were successfully resolved to deliver the project on time and on budget.
Simpson Landscapes & Consultants
Ph: 02 9542 3976
Client: Sutherland Shire Council
Landscape Architect: UmbarCo Landscape Architects
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