2012 AILA National Landscape Architecture Award: Design

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Secrets are shared with a friend.

Secrets are shared with a friend. Image: Scott Shirley

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Opportunities for hiding and observation invite exploration of the site.

Opportunities for hiding and observation invite exploration of the site. Image: Scott Shirley

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Stencilled crocodiles and lily pads float on the coloured concrete river that winds through the site.

Stencilled crocodiles and lily pads float on the coloured concrete river that winds through the site. Image: Scott Shirley

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Mature Moreton Bay fig trees afford shade and shelter throughout the day.

Mature Moreton Bay fig trees afford shade and shelter throughout the day. Image: Scott Shirley

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Positive and negative cut-outs enclose gathering points on either side of the playspace.

Positive and negative cut-outs enclose gathering points on either side of the playspace. Image: Scott Shirley

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Talking tubes allow encourage communication playspace between friend, new and old.

Talking tubes allow encourage communication playspace between friend, new and old. Image: Scott Shirley

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A mix of physical- and musical-based play equipment extends the range of play experiences for children.

A mix of physical- and musical-based play equipment extends the range of play experiences for children. Image: Scott Shirley

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The boardwalk/tree house provides universal access to the top of the double slide.

The boardwalk/tree house provides universal access to the top of the double slide. Image: Scott Shirley

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Custom timber construction provides the jungle aesthetic needed for the tree house.

Custom timber construction provides the jungle aesthetic needed for the tree house. Image: Scott Shirley

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Children of all abilities can experience being amongst the branches.

Children of all abilities can experience being amongst the branches. Image: Scott Shirley

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Care was taken to ensure that the existing trees were protected and showcased in the design.

Care was taken to ensure that the existing trees were protected and showcased in the design. Image: Scott Shirley

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Shaded picnic and barbeque areas allow friends and families to gather in comfort.

Shaded picnic and barbeque areas allow friends and families to gather in comfort. Image: Scott Shirley

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Balance beams and steppers allow children to test their abilities and explore the gardens.

Balance beams and steppers allow children to test their abilities and explore the gardens. Image: Scott Shirley

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High quality finishes and materials.

High quality finishes and materials. Image: Scott Shirley

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Children ‘hang out’ on the climbing frame.

Children ‘hang out’ on the climbing frame. Image: Scott Shirley

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Water spills from the flower fountain, adding the sound of running water to the noise of the playspace.

Water spills from the flower fountain, adding the sound of running water to the noise of the playspace. Image: Scott Shirley

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Water play provides sensory stimulation and cool relief on a hot day.

Water play provides sensory stimulation and cool relief on a hot day. Image: Scott Shirley

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A mix of ‘natural’ and man-made materials creates a unique visual and tactile experience.

A mix of ‘natural’ and man-made materials creates a unique visual and tactile experience. Image: Scott Shirley

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Water pours from the flower fountain.

Water pours from the flower fountain. Image: Scott Shirley

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The water play area provides a range on intended (and unintended) activities.

The water play area provides a range on intended (and unintended) activities. Image: Scott Shirley

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The interplay of positive and negative, light and shadow, adds an extra dimension to the experience.

The interplay of positive and negative, light and shadow, adds an extra dimension to the experience. Image: Scott Shirley

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Parents and children explore the new playground at the opening day.

Parents and children explore the new playground at the opening day. Image: Patrick Jordan

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Universal access is provided throughout the playground to accommodate wheelchairs and prams.

Universal access is provided throughout the playground to accommodate wheelchairs and prams. Image: Patrick Jordan

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A grassy mound provides topological play opportunities.

A grassy mound provides topological play opportunities. Image: Patrick Jordan

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Interaction is encouraged between children of different ages and abilities.

Interaction is encouraged between children of different ages and abilities. Image: Nicole Croudace

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Mueller Park Universal Playspace by Ecoscape (Australia) Pty Ltd

Client: City of Subiaco
Partners: Water Features By Design

Jury comment

Mueller Park represents a promising progression in the development of all-abilities playgrounds. Rather than the primitive response of including one or two pieces of segregated and disability-specific equipment, modern playgrounds allow children of all abilities to play together.

This project goes a step further with the use of high-quality play equipment, carefully designed to suit the site and respect its context. Natural and reclaimed materials feature in a well resolved combination of off-the-shelf and custom-designed elements. The result is an intriguing and engaging playground which reflects an Australian commitment to social inclusion.


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