The Paddocks Precinct

“Delivering a play space for the future in one of Sydney’s most history-steeped parklands”

Client

Parramatta Park Trust

Completed

2015

State

NSW

Design Partners

McGregor Coxall

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover

Executive Summary

Parramatta Park Trust appointed Fleetwood to help deliver an inspired $2 million playground, located in its new Paddocks Precinct – the largest financial injection in Parramatta Park’s proud history. Working alongside the project designers, McGregor Coxall, the concept called for a seamlessly integrated play space that was creative, safe and durable enough to serve the ever-growing population of Western Sydney families for years to come.

Fleetwood Involvement

Using our unique DesignExecute2™ model, Fleetwood collaborated with McGregor Coxall on the structural elements of the playground, from concept and detail design, through to execution and installation on site. Given many of the elements were architecturally complex, a strong design understanding was needed between both parties. The Fleetwood team took the time to clearly understand the vision McGregor Coxall wanted to create and, adding value at every stage of the project, was able to deliver it seamlessly. We then partnered with Coordinated Landscapes to complete the final delivery of the built works, on time and on budget.

More Project Information

1

McGregor Coxall’s vision was for a connected space where play is continuous and seamless. The design needed to provide different layers for children to enjoy, with a range of challenges, including climbing and water play opportunities.

2

The deadline was tight. The structures were complex. Fleetwood also needed to employ a ‘light touch’ approach to the construction phase, with all work taking place in a no excavation zone due to the sensitive Indigenous significance of the area. In fact, Indigenous artefacts were found after the initial design – which required piling – that had already been approved. After careful consultation with local elders, a significant rethink of the construction methodology was required.

3

Being unable to excavate, our team had to think and design outside of the box in order to deliver the architect’s vision in a way that was structurally adequate whilst touching the ground very lightly. To do this, the structures that can be seen from the outside shroud a myriad of creative construction solutions beneath, each carefully tailored to the different play elements. Achieving this required highly innovative thinking from design and engineering, to fabrication and install. It also called for very accurate ground line surveys and 3D modelling of the ground plane. One specific example of innovation is the 12mm thick steel plate that surrounds each of the playground areas. These had to be painstakingly cut by CNC (Computer Numerical Control) to ensure they fit perfectly on the ground plane with no gaps and no excavation required.

4

  • Giant ‘Elephant’ slide
  • Main ‘A’ playdeck
  • Multiple smaller bespoke play items
  • Flying fox
5

  • Mild steel
  • Hot dip galvanising
  • Grey ironbark
  • Unseasoned hardwood
  • Concrete
6

The DesignExecute2™ process helped to guide ongoing collaboration with all parties to see the playground realised, safely, while also removing any risk of damaging highly significant Indigenous artefacts in the area.

7

Respecting (and preserving) the Indigenous significance of the site was a critical facet of the project and was never far from our minds. We were also very conscious of working around the park’s existing trees, so as not to disturb their root systems. At a construction level, all of the hardwood materials used were sustainably sourced.

8

Parramatta Park is a history-steeped greenspace, just moments from the Parramatta CBD and Parramatta River. One of Western Sydney’s most popular recreational destinations for more than a century, the new play space in the Paddocks Precinct provided the perfect platform for future generations of families to come together and enjoy. This was further bolstered with a second stage of works completed, including picnic facilities, public amenities and a flying fox.

9

Community engagement was initially handled by the landscape architect, McGregor Coxall. However after finding Indigenous artefacts on-site, Fleetwood was heavily involved in the planning, design and implementation of the new measures put forward to protect the interests of the community. These were agreed in close consultation with local Indigenous elders.

10

Officially opening in early 2015, the new Paddocks Precinct play space quickly became a much-loved part of the Parramatta Park experience for families and children of all ages. The play space offers a wide range of activities that encourage children to explore and stretch their individual strengths and confidence. Whilst we believe play should never be only restricted to ‘playgrounds’, the simple act of engaging in play is promoted in these environments as the kids get the opportunity to create new friendships and learn to accept and communicate, all whilst getting the benefits of being outside and active. Parents are also able to come together and gather with others, offering great social interaction opportunities.

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Awards

Award Name Location Year
AILA NSW Award, Play Spaces The Paddocks Precinct 2017