WATERSIDE PLAY WITH AN ARTISTIC EDGE
Reflecting Indigenous influences and a natural setting, Wangal Reserve is a delightful landscape of artistic whimsy and nature-based play.
Set in the waterside location of Mortlake, an inner-west suburb of Sydney overlooking the Parramatta River, Wangal Reserve is the latest public greenspace upgraded by City of Canada Bay.
The $1.7 million project included renewed pedestrian lighting, native planting, new beach access, picnic shelter and barbecue area, as well as accessible pathways, a replacement jetty and Indigenous-inspired artworks. Taking place in two stages, the second stage of works has now been completed and includes the opening of a new nature-based playscape from Play Workshop.
Working to a brief from Council that specified a nature-play theme, Play Workshop designed an inclusive playspace that incorporated creative and exploratory play opportunities, as well as collaborative and interactive elements and artwork that reflects the unique culture of the site. Constructed as part of an overall upgrade to the open space, the playground design sought to enrich the natural beauty of the setting and highlight the captivating views of the Parramatta River.
Using natural materials such as Australian hardwood and stone, Play Workshop installed a series of discovery pieces, including a timber bridge and waterplay items interspersed throughout a dry creek bed, to ensure the style of the park remained true to the Council brief. Sculptural terrazzo eggs created by inhouse artists and carved timber totem poles located insitu add another dimension to the design, providing specific site value and exciting moments of discovery for little adventurers. Completed by Play Workshop’s artists, block-work that reflects native fauna were carved into sandstone using designs by Indigenous artist David Cragg, with each artistic element helping to bring the site to life.
Supplying a custom adventure play structure designed for inclusive access, a timber and rope agility course, flying fox, large timber swing and accessible carousel, Play Workshop added plenty of play value to the space for kids of all ages and abilities. All products for the park are Australian made or crafted locally in the company’s facility in Artarmon. Built for longevity and durability, each unit reflects the natural theme of the project, as well as being aligned with Everyone Can Play guidelines to ensure a variety of play challenges. And the fun doesn’t end there!
Timber steppers, a timber boat, balance beams, log steppers and stilt walk that follows the natural slope of the land all contribute to an inclusive playspace to delight the locals. A custom sand play table, water sluice gates and water pumps bring in the natural aquatic vibe of the location, while a single cable flying fox adds plenty of high-flying fun. A huge hit with the community, Wangal Reserve playspace is a triumph in natural play.
Client City of Canada Bay Council
Location Mortlake, NSW
Landscape Architect Wendy Wright
Landscape Contractor Landscape Solutions
Playscape Design Play Workshop
Supply & Install Play Workshop
Photography Stephen Govel Photography