EVENT RECAP – Playspace Bus Tour

  • April 28, 2023

An increasing focus of many of our community’s favourite parks, on Thursday 27 April we explored how nature and play has been intertwined in recent playspace projects across metropolitan Melbourne.  Starting out at the Melbourne City Baths with a welcome and initial presentation from our regional sponsors KOMPAN, we then hopped on board a chartered bus to visit several unique sites – including Lincoln Square, Alma Park and Harleston Park. 

While on site we were met by Council officers, landscape construction contractors, and project managers as we were taken on guided tours and heard all about the “things to think about” or “what to look out for” when planning delivery of projects. 

A huge thank you to our partners KOMPAN, all who attended and the City of Melbourne for hosting us. 

Lincoln Square - City of Melbourne

Home to the first public playground in Victoria from circa 1907, play continues to be an important part of Lincoln Square. Works to upgrade the playground commenced in November 2020 and the park was open to the public in September 2021. The new play space is designed for children of all ages around the 150-year-old Moreton Bay Figs at the site.

Here we were joined by Kate Cudal, Design Manager and Principal Landscape Architect + Heather Chapman, Strategy and Engagement Lead from the City of Melbourne’s City Design team who lead us on a guided tour focusing on the design and planning approach which saw the Site Concept Plan + Play Space Concept Plan come to life!

 In 1867, designer Clement Hodgkinson was commissioned to design this public park. Hodgkinson had previously designed Treasury Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne and was later commissioned to design St Vincent Gardens in Albert Park.

Today, Alma Park encompasses significant avenues of mature trees, a colourful central shrub walk, bike path, playground, gazebo, sports oval, toilets and BBQ facilities.The play space features a magnificent tree house with climbing nets, a unique play structure formed to resemble a large imaginary creature and a collection of hand carved wooden animals by artist James Cattlell including a kangaroo, wombat and potteroo. The adjacent outdoor fitness station was first opened in 2018, with further additions made in 2022.

Here the team at KOMPAN gave us behind the scenes insight into the design and delivery of this ever evolving site over the years. From working with the original concept design to craft the play space, and then returning to add a fitness zone years later, they have seen the site develop into a well-loved community asset. The South-West section is now being considered by Council for further renewals under a recently developed Concept Plan.

Harleston Park is named after the birthplace of Sir Fredrick Grimwade who built Grimwade House, formerly Harleston House, in 1875. Harleston Park is a quiet suburban park with a large playground area renowned for having the ‘longest slide in Glen Eira’. 

The playground features a large and long slide that sits atop a natural hill. It also includes a climbing mound, sensory maze and giant bird’s nest swing. A three-point basketball court provides alternative play opportunities, with the running stream water feature adding further character to this park.

Here we were joined onsite by the team engaged to deliver Harleston Park led by Brenton Clark, Landscape Superintendent of BildGroup as he answered all our landscape construction questions. 

This event is proudly brought to you by:

KOMPAN has been creating healthier and happier Australian communities since 1985. Boasting a reputation as a global leader in play for 50+ years, KOMPAN offers an extensive portfolio of high-quality outdoor recreational equipment, including playgrounds, fitness solutions, multi-use areas and park furniture. All of which empowers people of all ages and abilities to play, exercise, grow and learn.