2019 AILA QLD Landscape Architecture Award, Play Spaces, Award of Excellence
2016 Landscape Queensland Construction Excellence Awards, Commercial Landscape Construction of the Year
2016 Landscape Queensland Construction Excellence Awards, Million $ Plus
2016, UDIA Awards, Wildcard (Finalist)
Surrounded by retained Eucalypt forest, the Forest Park within Gainsborough Greens master planned community provided a significant opportunity to introduce and reinforce local awareness of ecology and sustainability within a recreational space. In response to the opportunities inherent in the site, the Form team proposed a concept of organic form and interpretive/educational play, constructed largely of reclaimed site timbers. Exploration, discovery, role play, balance, climbing, storytelling, exhilaration, and social interaction were to be delivered in within an interpretive patchwork of landscape.
Highly customised and constructed largely of reclaimed site timbers, the concept posed a number of logistical, certification, durability and budgetary challenges to be traversed with both the local authority and client. Form Landscape Architects lead the consultant team in sequentially resolving these issues throughout the design and construction phase. Detailed documentation was explored up front to communicate feasibility early on. Tree specimens were hand selected prior to clearing to ensure timber class and quantity for reuse in construction. Custom playground certification was sought during design and construction phases to ensure compliance with Australian standards. Responsive involvement during construction was required to react to unforeseeable challenges posed by natural elements. A variety of specialist skills were drawn on from numerous Form staff members in order to resolve these projects complexities.
The finished project provides residents and visitors with a wide variety of unique amenity. To the north, an open kick and throw area is encircled by gardens and shade niches. A dramatic central earth mound acts as a hub for an 8m high hill slide, timber log play forts, sandstone block stair climb, and sand play at the base. To the centre of the playground, a reclaimed fallen tree provides both sculptural identity and natural climbing opportunity. Oversized sandstone boulders and bespoke play structures continue the theme of undefined play and exploration. A large, custom shade structure to the west pays tribute to the scale of timber reclaimed on site while providing shelter and observation over play spaces. To the south, a ‘totem forest’ acts as a sculptural reminder of the former vegetation community on site while offering possibilities of education and exploration. These spaces and more are threaded together by an organic pathway and a dry creek bed interwoven from the top to bottom of site. Within a body corporate managed zone, residents have access to a multipurpose court and miniature grandstand, organically shaped pool with plunge zones and lap training, BBQ and change facilities.
Beyond the technical and logistic triumphs associated with the project, residents and visitors identify as the custodians of a space which is both unique and connected to their surrounding environment.