The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden

“Inspiring children to explore their ‘wild’ side”

Executive Summary

Just 5km from the Sydney CBD, Centennial Park is one of the city’s largest and most popular green spaces. Fleetwood was engaged to collaborate with the design partner, ASPECT Studios, to help bring its vision for a stunning new WILD PLAY garden to life in a way that was as safe for children as it was inspiring.

Client

Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust

Completed

2017

State

NSW

Design Partners

ASPECT Studios

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover

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Fleetwood Involvement

Using our DesignExecute2 delivery model, we partnered closely with ASPECT Studios at every stage of the project. The process began with a collaborative discovery session where we were fully immersed in the creative vision using their initial sketches and designs. Our Design Engineering Hub then added value by formulating detailed suggestions on materials, finishes and construction techniques, evolving the design concepts into practical forms. Next, 3D drawings were created allowing the client to experience and approve the final concept, from which a detailed construction budget was developed and a full list of materials were provided for certification. Finally, the construction phase brought the whole WILD PLAY concept to life, with some of the structures built on-site, while others were prepared at our specialised off-site workshop.

More Project Information

1

Rather than a defined and highly prescriptive play structure, ASPECT Studio’s vision was of a richly immersive environment using simple design and natural materials. Inspired by the local fig trees and parklands, they wanted to create a magical garden where children would be encouraged to run, jump, play, learn and discover, as they enjoy the ‘wild side of life’.

2

Our challenge was to seamlessly and safely evolve ASPECT Studio’s design vision, building it into a spectacular reality for young families to enjoy. The ultimate goal was to find the best possible way to deliver for the community while always staying true to the original vision.

3

A crucial part of the design vision was creating the look and feel of a bird’s nest surrounding the upper structure. Fleetwood’s innovative design team came up with a construction method that captured the spirit of the initial concept, delivering the desired aesthetic with a unique concealed fixing method.

4

  • Swinging bridge leading to the ‘Nest’ treehouse
  • Fully enclosed tubular slide
  • High visibility protective mesh
  • ‘The Eel’ hardwood structure
5

  • Stainless steel
  • Unseasoned hardwood
  • Stainless steel wire netting
6

Safety implications were paramount at every stage of the project – from the design of the play structure itself to the materials used. Stainless steel wire netting was carefully and artistically folded into the design to ensure absolute safety throughout and maintain visibility for parents and carers.

7

All timbers used were sourced from sustainably grown Australian forests. Compliance with the Australian Forestry Standard and demonstration of the chain of custody were fundamental aspects of Fleetwood’s process.

8

This vibrant new play structure has quickly become a social magnet for young families, breathing new life into one of inner Sydney’s oldest and largest green spaces, Centennial Park.

9

ASPECT Studios, used community engagement as their inspiration to create a design that was immersive, creative and truly unique.

10

The Wild Play Garden is an inspiring new public play structure for local families and visitors alike. Filled with things to do and discover, it gives young children a great reason to get out of the house and off their devices as they explore a creative outdoor wonderland.

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Awards

Award Name Location Year
International Architecture Awards Project Winner; Urban Planning/Landscape Architecture. The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden 2019
City Brand and Landscape Award: City Play The Ian Potter Wild Play Garden 2018
Parks and Leisure Australia's NSW and ACT regional awards of excellence The Ian Potter Wild Play Garden 2018
AILA NSW Play Spaces Award of Excellence The Ian Potter Wild Play Garden 2018
Good Design Award for Urban Design The Ian Potter Wild Play Garden 2018