Chelsea Street Playground was recognised on Thursday night at the AILA NSW Awards dinner.
Awarded the AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Award – Parks and Open Space 2016, this achievement reflects the rich collaborative environment of the City of Sydney, design specialists and the community that resulted in a unique, playful and high quality urban park upgrade.
Last Saturday saw the official opening of Chelsea Street Playground with an appearance from Lord Mayor Clover Moore and entertainment organised by the City of Sydney.
It was the local residents, however, who really brought the party showing up in droves to celebrate the reopening of what many consider to be an extension of their backyard. This was evident in the large number of children who brought toys from home to share with other children. A quirk, which has become a defining characteristic of the playground and contributed to the strong sense of community that exists amongst the park’s users.
The new park and playground has proven to be extremely popular since its soft opening last month, with many families using the custom designed picnic shelter as a base for trick-or-treat during Halloween and taking advantage of the new BBQ facilities for neighbourhood parties.
The community garden has also been well received by the local residents. While the new paving and planting along nearby Rennie Street has adds to the character of the surrounding area and this closely knit community.
All in all it was a fantastic day and showcased that even small parks can have a big impact within our inner city neighbourhoods.
Reconciliation park is the second to be completed as part of the Stage 11 Three Parks Upgrade project for the City of Sydney.
The project involved extensive community and children’s consultation to develop a design that would meet the needs of this diverse inner city neighbourhood.
The playground includes a custom designed tree house, play terraces and a combination of balance, swing and climbing structures.
In addition to the new playground, upgrades included recycled brick paving and paths, a rain garden with extensive native planting and space for a future community garden.
Janet Beirne Park, is an inner city park that was identified by City of Sydney Council as requiring significant upgrade. Designated as a neighbourhood park, the project provided an opportunity to review its function as a green space for the community of Beaconsfield. Through community consultation and analysis of existing park provisions nearby, the park design was developed. The result is a bright and lively park that includes a new playground, a sunny retreat terrace, improved BBQ and seating facilities, open lawn terrace with rain garden and improved path networks and accessibility.
NSW Premier Barry O’ Farrell officially opened Taronga Zoo’s latest exhibit on Monday, a collaborative project for JILA with Hill Thalis Architecture & Urban Projects, the Lemur Forest Adventure showcases both the adorable primates themselves and a cultural story represented in three stages that reflect the demise of the Ring Tailed Lemur’s natural habitat in Madagascar. Visitors experience the lush forest habitat upon entry, formed with dense planting of mature tree and shrub species, and transition through the more open play area where children (and big kids) can mimic the play habits of the Lemurs, finally reaching (via the underside of a waterfall) the domain of the Lemurs themselves that is represented with a variety of plant species endemic to Madagascar. Come April this year visitors will be able to enter the Lemur area and interact with the animals on a personal level, this is the first exhibit at Taronga that allows this level of proximity with the animals. Get out and see this exhibit if you can, it’s going to be popular.
photography by Alex Rink & Dan Harmon