Wulaba Park
Wulaba Park
Wulaba Park

A playful green space in the heart of Waterloo

Meriton is one of the most active developers in Sydney. Its residential towers in Waterloo mark the renaissance of this traditional industrial area into one of Sydney’s most vibrant residential districts. All new developments commissioned by The City of Sydney need to meet the council’s vision of delivering more vibrant communities with exceptional play areas.

Sturt Noble came onboard as the Landscape Architect and envisioned a tall tower in the park. Their concept was to deliver a vertical play structure in the middle of a high-density residential development that didn’t take up too much space but still delivered an exceptional play experience. Our role was to ensure the tall tower could be built and the unforgettable experience would not be compromised.

The Challenge

The main challenge with Wuluba Park was to fit as much play value as possible into the structure while maintaining the architectural and aesthetic intent. Of course, we had to comply with the building code of Australia and the relevant Australian Standards. So together with the proprietary playground item supplier and the certifying engineer, we collaborated with and coordinate numerous stakeholders to create an integrated design that meets safety standards and deliver unforgettable experiences.

DesignExecute2™ Process at Wulaba Park
01 Discover
02 Develop
03 Detail
04 Deliver

01 Discover

Working with Sturt Noble Associates, PlayRope and Nuha Saad, Fleetwood led discussions regarding the  process of creating a stimulating and visually appealing playspace that activated a ‘range of senses’. The design needed to provide a variety of experiences and adventures for different age groups and abilities, so we needed to deliver a cohesive and integrated design outcome.

02 Develop

With the outcomes and objectives set in the ‘Discovery’ phase, we moved on to the selection of the materials and estimated the costs of each playspace element.

The playspace featured a custom designed play tower, reminiscent of the classic Hills Rockets. The play tower was the central element of the project, so its design continued to evolve as our Design-Led Engineers continued to collaborate with Nuha Saad and the team at Sturt Noble. Key visual attributes, like the reshaping of the top of the tower and the addition of the slide, were all conceptualised and developed during this stage.

03 Detail

With the concept designs ticking everyone’s boxes, and the materials selected, we could get down to the detail of the engineering connections, fall heights, and final materiality. The 3D model was refined to give the proprietary item suppliers a final working reference.

Workshop details are built in reference to the 3D model. This means that all details are captured and translated seamlessly to the drawings the manufacturing teams use to build the project. In simple terms, this ensures all elements fit together, but it’s also the template we use to ensure a seamless transition through development and delivery.

04 Deliver

Fleetwood’s business model is defined by the end-to-end nature of its capabilities. From the design-led discussions in the ‘Discovery’ phase, right through to the onsite build, our clients enjoy a seamless, transparent experience that’s supported by DE2. This methodology ensures our manufacturing and operation teams have direct access to the design team, maintaining a seamless transition from the original idea, through design and into reality.

The tower structure was assembled in Fleetwood’s ISO 9001 accredited facility, and taken to the site as a complete structure. Once lifted into position, the finishing touches were completed by Fleetwood’s fabrication specialists.

Because Playrope were supplying and installing various elements in the play space, our Onsite Crew was collaborating and cording activities with a number of stakeholders to successfully integrate all products.

The Solution

It’s probably the most attractive (and the most colourful!) tower in Waterloo. The City of Sydney clearly asked for a vibrant addition to space, and now, this is what they have.

Because the tower was an original concept that had been inspired by the urban surroundings, we had to nurture that idea into a solid structure. It was a streamlined delivery of a complex play concept into a safe and sound play structure.

But much more importantly, the local residents now have an unforgettable play experience right on their doorstep that they can enjoy for years to come. It’s local services and experiences like these that make people love where they live… and the reasons why these residential developments some become communities.

In-situ concrete elements

We were careful to integrate elements incorporated from Nuha Saad’s concepts. Here you can see the cast ‘in-situ’ concrete elements, but his inspiration was carried into the climbing tunnels and the soffit, featured below. The materials and textures featured through the park were all complimentary with Nuha’s designs.

Coloured battens

The theme of coloured battens (also chosen by the collaborating artist) on the tower was carried across into the soffit of this shelter we designed, manufactured and installed adjacent to the play tower.

Play and shelter – all in one

This image shows the sheltered area provided within the Tower design which was an important element of the design. A boardwalk leads from the general concourse, across a drainage zone and underneath the sheltered area of the Tower. In such a built-up area of the city fringe, the Tower needed to be big to ensure it didn’t ‘get lost’. At 12 metres tall we’re pretty confident we achieved that objective!

Fleetwood are consistently enthusiastic to hear and workshop ideas from an early stage. Providing solid and creative collaboration towards best case outcomes. They love what they do and it shows in their ability to think on the move and meet unforeseen challenges. The DesignExecute2™ process is essentially a commitment to seeing that original vision through to reality without many of the information gaps and inefficiencies that are common to many projects.

Liam Noble Director, Sturt Noble Associates

Project Details


Meriton | City of Sydney

Design Partners

Sturt Noble Associates