Apr 16 2020, by Fleetwood Urban
Going under 'The Canopy'
An inside look at Fleetwood’s latest Play project with Lane Cove Council
Lane Cove village has been a much-loved part of Sydney’s leafy lower north shore for generations. But for some time it’s also been clear the popular shopping strip along Longueville and Burns Bay Roads had become tired and was in need of regeneration. Enter The Canopy*, a new public community precinct currently under construction for Lane Cove Council, combining outdoor meeting and play spaces with an additional 500 undercover car spaces.
“The Canopy is the jewel in Lane Cove’s crown…a vibrant public domain that will provide much-needed open space in the heart of the Lane Cove village.”
Lane Cove Council
By any measure, The Canopy is a major public space project, especially for such a densely populated suburban area. Here at Fleetwood Urban we’ve been busy playing our part in bringing some of the key elements to life. Through the design phase of the project, we worked with the landscape architecture team at Scott Carver, to create a bespoke play structure for this project. Lane Cove Council appointed ADCO Constructions to lead the major works and we, in turn, were contracted by ADCO for the manufacture and delivery of the Play Product. The Play Product includes a winding slide, a timber structure connected by a little timber ‘bridge’ and another smaller slide for the toddlers.
Access, safety and communication.
Like most projects, the site has its own unique challenges. The play structures, for example, are located in quite an awkward position on the podium level of the wider project. This makes it a little harder to manage than some of our other projects, especially when it comes to material and plant access. Keeping in direct communication with the builder daily is vital, along with clear construction methodology, plant and equipment information and accurate time-frames for the works. Another important focus is making sure we have all the relevant site specific Workplace Health & Safety documentation at all times.
Just on communication, there are quite a few stakeholders to keep in the loop at The Canopy too. Obviously there’s the Council itself and the lead contractor, ADCO, for all matters relating to the overall project and construction. The landscape architect Scott Carver needs to be across the design, making sure each of our play elements fit seamlessly with the overall landscape area and fall zones. Then there’s also the landscape contractor, Glascott Landscape & Civil, who are constructing the soft fall areas under and around our structure. It’s essential our daily activities are aligned with what they have planned, so we aren’t working over the top of one another!
Day by day.
Life is never dull for a Project Manager, that’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about it. The Canopy is no different. On any given day you’ll find me touching base with my site manager to confirm they’re properly resourced, productive and reiterating our construction milestones. Personally, it’s vital to stay organised and manage my own workload so I can visit the site as often as required to check on progress and quality, as well as closing out any minor defects as we go. Of course, most importantly I’m regularly meeting with ADCO, to ensure we’re providing a seamless experience during the site install. So far it’s working very well and, without wanting to jinx things, I think we’re on track for a great result.
Our involvement at The Canopy is nearing completion and the entire project is scheduled to open to the public by June. With any luck the current social isolation rules in NSW will be relaxed by then too, providing a wonderful ‘coming out’ celebration for the local community! We’re confident it will be an asset Lane Cove Council will be very proud of and the community will use and enjoy it for years to come. Considering it’s situated in such a prime location in Lane Cove and close to notable retail shops and restaurants, I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t. From a learning curve perspective? Well, if we could go back in time I think all of the stakeholders – us very much included – would put a lot more emphasis into site access and methodology during the pre-contract stage. Access is so important to any project and you can’t always take it for granted.
* In a nice little side story, this project actually had a name change last year. It was originally called ‘The Rosenthal Project’. But that changed mid-project after Lane Cove Council invited the local community to choose a name, ‘The Canopy Lane Cove’ coming out on top.
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