Sep 15 2021, by Fleetwood Urban
Behold… The ‘Bandicoot Bum’ of Brompton!
Inspired by Banjo Paterson. Designed by GbLA. Enjoyed by generations.
“If you walk in the bush at night,
In the wonderful silence deep,
By the flickering lantern light
When the birds are all asleep
You may catch a sight of old Skinny-go-root,
Otherwise, Benjamin Bandicoot.”
by A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson
The 'Bandicoot Bum' Play Structure was modelled off the southern brown bandicoot
A young Banjo Paterson
Exciting news, Australia… the ‘Bandicoot Bum’ is complete! Over the past 18 months Fleetwood has been collaborating with Melbourne-based landscape architects GbLA, to deliver two fantastic new outdoor structures at Brompton – a leafy master-planned community in Cranbourne, about 40km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD.
Enhancing Access, Inspiring Play
The first structure is a stunning new hardwood timber viewing deck, created to provide a unique place for Brompton locals to relax and birdwatch amongst the trees. The second is a fully-customised play structure inspired by the Banjo Paterson character, Benjamin Bandicoot – designed by GbLA to look like the tail and back end of a bandicoot (hence the ‘Bandicoot Bum’ nickname). Despite plenty of creative challenges along the way, it was expertly detailed and delivered by Fleetwood, and the local community just L-O-V-E-S it.
Developed by Wolfdene, the Brompton masterplan follows the site’s natural geography and wetlands, with a network of waterways, bike paths and walking trails connecting residents to the town centre and beyond. The outdoor structures were commissioned to further enhance the existing greenspaces and provide exciting new places for the local community to gather, relax and play.
The Brompton Lookout Tower
“The team at GbLA came to us very early on,” says Fleetwood’s Victorian Project Leader, Joel Watson. “Looking back, those initial design collaborations were absolutely critical to the success of both structures. GbLA had some fantastic initial sketches and mood boards which provided inspiration, images and textures for us to work from. Our inhouse designers then developed these into a full set of scaled drawings and we continued to collaborate with both GbLA and Wolfdene at every stage from there.”
“The result is two fantastic new structures that have really helped to transform the Brompton community and inspire people to get outside and love the outdoors,” Joel continues. “The new play structure, in particular, has proven a massive hit with local families and children!”
The Brompton 'Bandicoot Bum' Play Structure
Closer inspection shows the design of the Bandicoot Bum is overflowing with creative features for kids to enjoy and discover. These include the timber handrail which is engraved with the words from Banjo Paterson’s much-loved poem, Benjamin Bandicoot.
“The poem was a really nice touch from GbLA, but also quite tricky to deliver,” says Travis Lane, Fleetwood Construction Manager, Victoria. “Our design team spent many hours creating detailed drawings for the CC machine to be able to produce a curved timber with radius and poem. It was very intricate, but we got the job done. We also decided to pre-assemble the entire structure off site to minimise installation risks at Brompton, as well as use custom jigs to weld the round bar clad panels – that was key in ensuring everything went together seamlessly on-site. Despite plenty of challenges, the installation was completed on brief and on schedule.”
The 'Benjamin Bandicoot' poem by Banjo Paterson engraved into the curved timber handrails for the play structure
The engraving involved a lot of intricate work
The new structures at Brompton are great examples of Fleetwood’s proprietary DesignExecute2™ delivery process. Guiding the design, fabrication and installation stages – from concept right through to completion – it allowed us to bring GbLA’s creative vision to life, brilliantly, for the local community to enjoy for years to come.
Landscape Architect: GbLA
Landscaping & Earthworks: P&H Civil Landscapes
Bandicoot Photo: John O’Neill
Banjo Paterson Photo: National Library of Australia
Concept Images: GBLA Landscape Architects
Drone Footage: Brendan Smith, Fleetwood Urban
All other photos: Fleetwood Urban
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