Daracon Landscaping was awarded the landscape package to construct the Paperbark Playspace in the historic Gardens Precinct of Parramatta Park, it is a new all inclusive playspace designed for the Western Sydney Parklands and Parramatta Park Trust and was funded by the NSW Governments ‘Everyone Can Play’ Program.
The construction was never going to be easy, during the demolition and excavation stages there was a ‘No Dig Policy’ due the heritage sensitivity of the site. The whole play space is built on a layer of no fines concrete to ensure the heritage listed tree, growing in the middle of the site would not be disturbed. The playspace was constructed over 6 months with Paperbark Playspace officially opened on 25th July by Minister for Planning & Public Spaces, Rob Stokes.
The award winning design has breathed life into the 30+ year old
playground. It combines play with cultural interpretation of the former
convict site, using play and shade structures, interactive artwork and historic images and text. The playspace provides a wide variety of play experiences which are accessible to young children of varying abilities, including wheelchair users within a reflective setting which responds to the cultural significance of its location.
In 2020, Paperbark Playspace won both the AILA National Landscape Architecture Award for Play Spaces and the AILA NSW Award of Excellence for Play Spaces. The playspace was led by the team at Phillips Marler as Landscape Architects and Head Consultants.
Professional photos courtesy of Simon Wood Photography.
Scope of Work
- Demolish the existing playground, paths and structures, leaving any in ground footings in place, under the guidance of a heritage consultant;
- Exposing and mapping of heritage items identified during demolition of the site;
- Installing geofabric to the entire site prior to a layer of no-fines concrete being laid, to ensure survival of the heritage listed tree;
- Supply and install drainage and water points for the water play items;
- Construction of stabilised gravel areas, brick paving, exposed aggregate and coloured concrete paths;
- Supply and install black chain wire mesh safety fencing;
- Supply and install a custom designed timber deck and box seating surrounding the heritage tree;
- Supply and install bespoke shade structures with sails;
- Supply and install climbing structure, swings and balance beams;
- Supply and install rubber softfall;
- Supply and install water play equipment
- Installation of client supplied artwork;
- Installation of quarried supplied sandstone blocks, stepping stones, seating and edging;
- Construction of gardens with soil, mulch and advance plantings of shrubs and grasses; and
- Preparation and laying of turf to the surrounding edges.
- Positively navigating construction methods with a 'No Dig’ policy on site, due to sensitive heritage items below ground level from early European settlement;
- Working successfully under the direction of a heritage consultant, stopping and starting when heritage items were encountered; and
- Working safely around a mature gum, heritage listed in the middle of the playground.