Previously an underutilised trotting track with a rich history dating back to 1936, JPE Design Studio have led the rejuvenation of Weigall Oval from the initial Master Plan through to detailed documentation and construction. Now it has become a valued community recreation and sports precinct that facilitates nature play, multi-use courts, sports fields, bike trails and a new sports club building.
The play offerings on the site have been carefully designed with a focus on providing opportunities for all ages to engage in nature-focused play. The junior playspace encourages imagination, challenge, and exploration, featuring swings, a slide, a sand garden, a log climbing structure, and habitat recreation areas surrounded by native planting beds. In contrast, the senior playspace includes a high point climbing mound with a slide, a flying fox, and a sculptural horse wagon slide tunnel that showcases photographs of trotters in action at Weigall Oval in the 1950s. A rocky dry creek bed runs along the base of the mound, providing children with a shaded natural playspace to explore. This creek trail introduces water play to the site with dry creek beds, water channels, and sand play areas.
Navigation across the site cleverly balances formality with informality. A central shared path serves as a primary connector, linking all elements of the reserve for easy accessibility by bike or on foot. In addition to the central path, a dirt bike path has also been included to offer thrilling challenges for riders of all ages. Along the shared-use trail, a fitness station has been strategically placed for convenient access to those walking by.
Sustainability was a key focus throughout the project, with water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) elements, additional landscaping, and biodiversity incorporated throughout to create a durable environment. All stormwater run-off from the car park is cleansed by a rain garden before entering the stormwater system to provide irrigation across the site.
The new sports club building, also designed by JPE Design Studio, provides a valuable community facility that can be used for events and expands the offering of the site. The form and materiality of the building reflect the character of the surrounding landscape, with contemporary hipped roofs that nestle into the subtly undulating contours of the site.
From an underutilised trotting track to a vibrant and activated regional hub, this project has created an activated home for sports, play and recreation. Now a cherished community asset, the transformation of Weigall Oval creates a space that fosters connections and provides activities for all.
Landscape Architecture: JPE Design Studio
Client: City of West Torrens
Project Location: Oval Terrace, Plympton SA 5038
Year completed: November 2020
Photo credits: Sam Noonan, Aaron Citti