About the Project
The City of Greater Geelong, Variety - The Children's Charity and the Victorian Government are creating a new inclusive playspace at Rippleside Park. This will be a unique place where people of all ages and abilities will be able to play alongside each other, creating a key community hub.
Jeavons Landscape Architects have been engaged to design the new playspace to replace the much-loved existing playground. Additional associated infrastructure such as external path connections and accessible toilets are planned future projects with elements on the plan subject to funding.
Extensive consultation through 2019 and 2020 helped us to understand the needs of future users and surrounding communities. Through school and public workshops, online surveys and meetings we gathered information about the elements and experiences that were most important to community members.
We discovered that natural green space, shade, multi-aged experiences, toilet location, cleanliness and nature play are all important. Top play experiences include swinging, climbing, sensory play, water play and nature play.
Wherever possible, we have included these elements and experiences into our Final Concept Design and are pleased to present it back to the community.
Universal design principles have been used to create considered layouts that offer a broad choice of activities and types of play. The design aims to be safe, foster social interaction, provide amenity for all users and appeal to both the internal and external senses.
Design objectives for Rippleside Inclusive Playspace
- a wide variety of play settings for all ages and abilities with a focus on natural and sensory play
- an iconic tree top walk with views through trees, across the playspace and towards the bay. The structure has multiple entries for all abilities, including wheelchair access up to almost 2.5 metres high
- resolved complex site levels to ensure wheelchair accessible routes
- an engaging planting palette suited to the local area, robust enough for a playground and an adventure for the senses
- sheltered and comfortable seating for supervision and gatherings
- a surrounding fence with two gated entries.
We understand that the users are at the heart of creating a successful playspace and appreciated the feedback provided by the community which has now been incorporated wherever possible into the final concept design.
The project team will now work hard to developed the design in more detail into a buildable new inclusive playspace for the City of Greater Geelong.
1 - Main Entrance
The main gated entry is from Rippleside Park Drive. While another entry gate is located next to the existing toilet block. The entire playspace will be enclosed by fences.
2 - Rocking, Spinning and Jumping
This zone includes inclusive in-ground trampolines, carousel and rocker beneath new shade trees.
3 - Toddler Play
A dedicated space for toddlers with a slide, play panels, and swings with inclusive seating options beneath new shade trees.
4 - Sand Play
A generous sand play area with wheelchair accessible sand play table and water pumps beneath a pergola with climbing plants over.
5 - Tree Top Walk
A unique feature timber structure that allows everyone to play among the tree tops. Separate junior and senior zones ensure everyone can find a challenge to suit their ability. The walk is accessible via wheelchair up to 2.5 metres above ground and includes:
- A choice of high exciting slides
- Adventurous wheelchair accessible swing bridge
- A variety of climbing challenges for differing abilities
- Shaded cubbies, artistic elements, sensory experiences and exploration beneath.
6 - Swinging
A range of seating options for people all abilities including a flying fox, large swivel birds nest swing, smaller birds nest swing and various swings with back support.
7 - Nature Play
Loose surfaces, plants, trees, water, sand and natural elements throughout the playspace provide inclusive opportunities for rich nature play. The area shown includes a gently undulating lawn, wheelchair accessible living tunnels and cubbies with cosy planted spaces for creative play with natural materials.
8 - Gathering and Picnics
Centrally located and sheltered gathering spaces make supervising child re n's play in different areas accessible and comfortable. These spaces include accessible formal picnic sett ings , barbecues and informal seating. As well as lawns beneath mature trees.
9 - Agility and Fitness
Accessible hand cycle, exercise bike, balance courses and monkey bars will challenge users to increase their upper body strength and balance.
10 - Water Play
A water play area to engage the senses and cool down in hot months. Including mist, accessible boats, spurts and water play activities under shady trees and a new pergola.
11 - Sensory Experience and Artistic Elements
Accessible sensory experiences including sound, smell, touch and kinesthetic awareness.