HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As our office gears up for 2018, we begin by celebrating our achievements for 2017:
• Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre, Erskineville. Gowrie NSW CEO Lynne Harwood joined the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Sarah Mitchell, to officially open the recently refurbished Centre and outdoor learning area. We are proud to be the designers of this large natural play area and are particularly pleased with the timber deck and sandpit around the magnificent mature Hills Weeping Fig tree.
Click image for full-size. (Then click Back button to return here)
• Endeavour Park and Playground, Kings Langley. The park, playground and leash-free dog area were completed and officially opened by Mayor Stephen Bali MP this year. Our office thoroughly enjoyed creating a design based on the epic journey of James Cook from 1768 to 1771, on his ship (The Endeavour). His groundbreaking study of the Transit of Venus, and his explorations around the world are referenced throughout the park and playground. The large park is now being used for all manner of family events and we are proud of our contribution to community recreation in Kings Langley!
Other 2017 achievements:
• Proud contributor to the new published Standard AS 4685.0:2017, Playground equipment and surfacing – Part 0: Development, installation,
inspection, maintenance and operation
• Author of the chapter “Designing with children: a practitioner’s perspective” in Designing cities with children and young people: beyond playgrounds and skate parks / edited by Kate Bishop and Linda Corkery.
• Key organiser and collaborator for KIDSCAPE play day in First Fleet Park, Sydney CBD, October 2017.
• Conference presentations included:
Kiama: Parks and Leisure Australia – topic: “Hosting a public Play Day”
Auckland: World Forum on Early Care and Education – topic: “Journey into Nature”
• State Inclusive Play Guide: contributors to the new design guide
Parks and Leisure Australia – National Awards of Excellence: Playspace (<$0.5m) – Halvorsen Park Playground, Ermington
Parks and Leisure Australia – NSW/ACT Awards of Excellence: Playspace (<$0.5m) – Halvorsen Park Playground, Ermington
Now, coming into 2018 it is an exciting time!
This year, in construction:
• Beaton Park (Perth): Stage 1 of construction will be finished in late February/early March.
• Mick Doohan Reserve Inclusive Playground (Oran Park) will commence construction this year.
• White Rabbit Child Care Centre (Naremburn) will start construction, after what has been a long approval process!
• Sydney Olympic Park: Bicentennial Park Playground upgrade will be ready for the April school holidays, featuring our new floor maze challenge
2018 heralds a year of deep thought and industry contributions…
Halvorsen Park Playground has received the National Playspace Award (<$0.5M) from Parks & Leisure Australia! In May, this playground won the Regional Playground Award (<$0.5M) for NSW/ACT, and we are thrilled it has been recognised in the National field! Our office is so proud of this community playground, which represents the nautical contribution Australia made during the Second World War.
1: Fiona accepts the award, MC: Kerry O’Keeffe. 2: Bethanie Tobin (Parks & Leisure Australia), Neville Davis (Parramatta City Council), Fiona Robbe and Anthony-Paul Diaz (Keynote speaker, Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks). Click to enlarge image.
We believe there’s more skill in designing and creating a small playground, which tells a rich narrative, than a large playground with a lush budget. Small playgrounds must succinctly combine the skills, knowledge and talent of all who contribute (our team included stonework, timberwork, concrete stain artwork, rubber artwork), which is why we are so pleased with this reward that acknowledges high professional achievement.
KIDSCAPE is part of the International Festival of Landscape Architecture and is aimed at making sure kids understand the importance of open space in our communities. On Sunday 15th October, KIDSCAPE will offer FREE fun outdoor activities for all kids, from 3 to 13yo. Come and play at First Fleet Park in The Rocks for a day of discovery, learning, playing, planting, building and more!
Fiona will be speaking at the Festival, and facilitating the Gulliver’s Mapping activity at KIDSCAPE this year. Click here to see a video and read about last year’s KIDSCAPE, held in Haig Park, Canberra.
Yay (at last) it is here! Designing cities with children and young people: beyond playgrounds and skate parks / edited by Kate Bishop and Linda Corkery. Fiona is so proud to be a contributor in this book, with her chapter Designing with children: a practitioner’s perspective.
Designing Cities with Children and Young People focuses on promoting better outcomes in the built environment for children and young people in cities across the world. This book presents the experience of practitioners and researchers who actively advocate for and participate with children and youth in planning and designing urban environments. It aims to cultivate champions for children and young people among urban development professionals, to ensure that their rights and needs are fully acknowledged and accommodated.
With international and interdisciplinary contributors, this book sets out to build bridges and provide resources for policy makers, social planners, design practitioners and students. The content moves from how we conceptualize children in the built environment, what we have discovered through research, how we frame the task and legislate for it, and how we design for and with children. Designing Cities with Children and Young People ultimately aims to bring about change to planning and design policies and practice for the benefit of children and young people in cities everywhere.
You can order the book from Routledge (paperback, hardback, eBook) here.
Our office is so excited and proud to be the recipient of the Regional (NSW/ACT) Playspace Award (<$0.5M) for Halvorsen Park. The project was an historic, creative design challenge, telling the story of one of Australia’s first submarines, HMAS AE2, an E Class Submarine, and the Halvorsen family who built 1500 leisure boats in Australia, and 250 boats for the Allied forces during WW2, 178 of which defended Australia. Many of these boats were built in Ryde, near the site of Halvorsen Park!
The park welcomes the community to a space that provides natural elements, imaginative playground equipment, action oriented playground equipment, seating and sun protection. A community survey demonstrated that the public are extremely satisfied with their new park.
This award is also for all the artists that collaborated with us (stonework, timberwork, concrete stain artwork, rubber artwork) – the beauty of the finished product is a tribute to their work! Green Fern Landscaping did a wonderful job building and coordinating all the works for this playground – flawless!
Fiona will be attending the World Forum on Early Care and Education in Auckland this May, presenting with fellow academics on the “Journey Into Nature” – discussing current issues in design for children and the future of outdoor/nature play.
This forum is a unique opportunity for our office to connect with the international play industry, and to learn about other countries’ approaches to nature play, and what strategies other major cities adopt in meeting modern childcare challenges.
It’s all been happening in Canberra!
The 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture was hosted in Canberra from 27-30th October; aiming to connect the public with landscape architects. Amongst the exciting program was KIDSCAPE on Saturday 29th October in Haig Park- a free event of endless fun! 1000 people supported the event, with both kids and parents having fun participating in the various activities, such as:
We were central to the team making this festival and play day happen. KIDSCAPE was like an International Play Day, others of which Fiona has attended in Berlin and Hong Kong. ‘I was so proud to be part of a day where children were invited to participate in nature-based free-play activities,’ she said.
Fiona conducted a session of Gulliver’s Mapping – a consultation workshop encouraging kids to share views and ideas on Haig Park’s spaces.
On the success of this event we hope to see (and be involved in) more like it in Australia!
AILA has announced the winner of Australia’s Best Playground, and the regional winners:
Congratulations to the City of Melbourne – with Nature Play at Royal Park. The title of Best Playground is well deserved!
Our own Lizard Log Plaground and Yokine Regional Inclusive Playspace won for the ACT/NSW and WA/NT/SA/QLD regions!
At the end of last month PLA held their 2016 conference and Awards of Excellence dinner. Blacktown City Council and our office received a High Commendation under Playspace:major (>$0.5m) for Peel Reserve, The Ponds!
We are all so proud of this project and very pleased to see it recognised amongst other great landscape projects!
Yesterday AILA announced the top 5 entries per region with the most public votes for Australia’s Best Playground – and we made it!! Our own entry, the Skywalker Plaground at Kellyville Public School, came in at the top of the ACT/NSW region, with 15,481 votes – thank you to everyone who voted!! Amazing effort!
Other projects we collaborated on have made the region shortlists too: Lizard Log Playground in NSW (our website’s background image) and Yokine Regional Inclusive Playspace in WA – we’re very proud!
It is now up to the jury to decide which playground will be the national winner, to be announced on the 24th May. With so many extraordinary playgrounds in the running it will be a tough choice!
(Click on the image to see it full size)
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and State Attorney-General and Vaucluse MP Gabrielle Upton visited and officially opened our Goodstart Childcare Centre in Double Bay in December! Recognition from these dignitaries means A LOT to us!
“This is the most amazing early learning centre I have ever seen in my life, I’ve seen quite a few,” said Mr Turnbull
“This is one of the projects that rejuvenated Double Bay and it’s responding to a need in the community for good quality, long daycare for kids,” Ms Upton said.
“It’s an incredibly attractive set up here, it has a big sand pit which I know is always popular with kids.”
(Click image to see at full size)