Sydney Park Stage 1
St Peters, NSW
City of Sydney
Ric McConaghy Playground Consultant
Steve Back, Brett Boardman
AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Award for Excellence in Design, 2010
JMD design were commissioned by the City of Sydney to design and document the first stage (NW Sector) of Sydney Park upgrade that included an all ability playground and a “Village Green”. JMD design sought to expand the brief and adjust the structural outcomes of the existing masterplan. The resultant design works with the site’s character and quirks to develop an idiosyncratic geometry that ties together the existing park and achieves the formal legibility sought from the Village Green diagram in the masterplan. Four key interventions were made; the circulation system was realigned, the Village Green’s spatial sequence was strengthened by the insertion of large grass mounds, a highly detailed and spatially rich all abilities playground was inserted (Collaboration with playground consultant: Ric McConaghy) and a kiosk and amenities ensemble was commissioned and located to reinforce the Park’s new structure (designed by Stanic Harding Architects).
The playground design enhances the passive and active play and learning opportunities within the park, while also considering the park’s overall ecological and hydrological function. Play features include a large climbing net, rock climbing walls, embankment slides, softfall mounds and boulders, swings, rockers and a universally accessible sand table. Passive and nature play features include a creek line, brick maze, turf mounds and sculptural elements. The re thought Village Green choreographs views and movement by the location of grass mounds and transplantied fig trees. The new space is offers a variety of vantage points, aspects and passive edges.
Two significant technical problems resulting from the park’s former use as a brickpit and landfill site were addressed in the design; a careful manipulation of the shallow soils that overlay the site’s contaminated landfill ensured no off site disposal, and the existing fig trees in poor health were relocated into new mounds and reconditioned to ensure vigorous growth.