The Ponds Parklands is the location of one of Fleetwood’s Public Art installations. Stretching around the foreshore of a five-hectare park, this community parkland provides a continuous lakefront walkway, comprising boardwalks, an iconic bridge, kick-about spaces, and picnic, and BBQ facilities. Taking pride of place is a circle of six stainless steel and laminated glass plinths. Designed to reflect the sun, sky, and water the reflective artworks were commissioned especially for this site.
The project at The Ponds Parklands is a great example of an ‘integrated’ Fleetwood engagement. Involved from the very early stages of planning, we’ve executed a wide range of large and very important structural elements in the landscape, including the Float, the lake boardwalks, the feature bridge, the Dragonfly Wall and all of the parklands’ and wetlands’ cycleway bridges.
We’ve been a collaborative partner throughout, contributing at every stage, from initial planning right through to construction documentation and installation. This included ensuring our approach complemented the water management plan for the ongoing bushland and riparian corridor restoration.
The artworks on the Lake are made of reflective materials, stainless steel, and photos overlaid on durable materials.
This was a prominent site with a lot of community interest. Consequently, public grand openings had already been scheduled for many of the works. Our challenge was ensuring our installations could be designed, developed and delivered to coincide with these other unmovable dates.
The artworks at the Ponds were also very intricate, so we needed to ensure the artists’ and architects’ visions, which featured different mediums and finishes, were not compromised in any way.
At the time of this project, Fleetwood has been collaborating with different teams of consultants at the Ponds over six years, so we had a really good relationship with the people who were bringing this park to life.
We were engaged in the project because of the technical expertise and creative flair of our craftsmen and women. It’s widely known in the industry that we’re able to deliver the intricacy of finish that is expected by both artist and client.
At our first Discovery session with the client, we were introduced to The Float, which had already been envisioned by the artist. We were also introduced to CLOUSTON Associates who’d begun conceptualisation for the lake’s pedestrian bridge.
Thanks to our previous experience and the knowledge we’d built over the years of developing similar projects with the same materials, we were able to work closely with the landscape architects and the lead consultant, CLOUSTON Associates.
To create the various artistic elements, we liaised with the client, the artist, and the lead consultant during the early stages of the process. We took the architectural drawings and translated them into computer-aided design (CAD) models. These were supported with realistic project development budgets.
For the curved boardwalks, the large-scale pedestrian and the cycleway bridges we provided the concept designs at the Development Application stage of the project.
The great feature of DE2 is the transparency it delivers, allowing Fleetwood to openly collaborate with our clients and partners. This made the development of the budgets, the design, and the coordination of the construction and installation much easier to manage.
After providing the concept designs for the bridges at the project’s DA stage, we then provided the certified drawings for the construction approval stage.
The ambitious artwork included a circle of six stainless steel and laminated glass plinths mentioned in the introduction. During the detail stage, we identified that marine-grade mirror stainless steel would need to be used. This was combined with customised Smartfix fixing systems that supported a digitally printed interlayer of laminated glass.
Many of the artistic elements required intricate laser cutting and lettering. This included the entry signage, which featured laser-cut lettering on steel sheets taken from the mural’s Cor-ten Steel base. We installed the steel sheets 10 millimetres off the wall to create the floating effect. This has had the added benefit of helping to prevent staining the concrete over time.
While all this intricate work was going on in one location, our other Onsite Construction teams were responsible for site set-out, piers and installation of all the bridge and boardwalk structures. The bridge itself was fabricated off-site and craned into position.
The bridge used bored piers with headstocks for two bright-red splayed steel support frames.
The bridges throughout the parklands have been designed with flooding overflow in mind. The balustrades have a purpose-designed mechanism to ensure the balustrades fold in the event of a flood, therefore not caching debris which could force the bridge to overturn.
This is an ordinary water cleansing set of ponds, and in order to make it a bit more attractive, the Landscape Architect (CLOUSTON) designed a large concrete blade wall. To break up the concrete surface, they also designed a core-ten panel with a ‘Dragonfly’ cut into it which we detailed, manufactured and installed.
This bespoke bridge support frame was designed for 2 reasons. The first was structural – to allow the individual spans of the bridge to be shorter than they would with a standard upright support. Therefore, making the bridge structure lighter. And secondly, aesthetic. The Lake area needed a pop of colour, and this services that well.
This balustrade provides a shared cycle path and pedestrian walkway. It provides an essential point of access and has plenty of lighting so people can use it safely at night.
Throughout my dealings with Fleetwood they have demonstrated and successfully completed a multitude of projects within time and budget. Their response time to get the projects completed has proven to be exceptional! This is a comforting factor. Good communication is vital to reduce duplication which wastes money. They have demonstrated that they can overcome any challenge put to them.Nick Conditsis Senior Development Manager, Urban Growth NSW