Sturt Noble Associates: The design for Wulaba Park creates distinctive and memorable play spaces. A custom designed play tower referencing the classic Hills Rockets of parks gone by, and a raised fort landing incorporates multiple play experiences and is the key visual element/ attractor in the park. This unique play structure is designed to enhance imaginative, and narrative based play and includes custom and off the shelf elements. A giant slide, ropes and cable climbing apparatus, slide, swings, nature play and tunnels complete this exciting play experience.
The design integrates public art by Nuha Saad into key elements in the park including a strong colour theme patterning the pavements, soft fall, concrete inlays, giant blocks, tower balustrades and pergola canopy. Sturt Noble, as lead consultant worked closely with Nuha and Fleetwood Urban (fabricators of the play tower) to provide a cohesive and integrated design outcome. A full consultation process was carried out by the City of Sydney council and resulted in the provision of a wide range of facilities. The demographic of the Green Square/ Waterloo area is very broad but is rapidly changing and as such the park is seen as an opportunity to create recreation opportunities in an area traditionally lacking in facilities with a huge increase in residents forecast due to the apartment building in the area.
Designed to be stimulating & visually appealing while activating a range of senses, Sturt Noble Associates have created play spaces providing a variety of experiences and adventures for different age groups and abilities. Play spaces are designed to include accessible elements with play designs providing for the development of agility, balance, coordination & strength. All five senses; sight, sound, touch, smell & taste can be stimulated with a variety of play elements, materials, planting & artworks that are incorporated into the play spaces.
Equipment and activities are positioned within a range of surfaces and spaces forming interesting and adventurous play areas. Integrated planting and level changes form and divide play spaces, creating discrete and separate areas within the playground, allowing for individual & group play activities. Paths are designed to lead children to further play opportunities, often hidden throughout the space. Informal play opportunities are created with the use of elements such as large boulders and concrete precast and insitu walls. Paths link play areas, with surfaces of contrasting colours and textures adding to the play experience, with stone, concrete, sand, gravel, pebbles, bark and rubber softfall providing a variety of both surfaces and colour. Seating and quiet areas are incorporated into the play spaces with low retaining walls, boulders and custom seating providing a range of options.
The design incorporates best-practice sustainability approaches including recycled bricks, mulches, gravels, stone and sand being used extensively throughout the project. Planting is primarily native Australian species with low water requirements. Detailing for hardworks including bridges, seating and retaining walls were in robust materials designed with long life cycles and limited maintenance. A “raingarden” was designed to create a feature surrounding a high point or “island” in the northern end of the park connected to Archibald Avenue and associated square via a bridge.
Landscape Architect: Sturt Noble Associates
Location: Waterloo, NSW, Sydney, Australia
Design year: 2012
Construction year (completion): 2016
Image Credits: Simon Wood