Previous projects


2015

                                     The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre,
                                         Rosebery, Sydney New South Wales, 
                                                      Construction: J M Landscapes


It was a total pleasure working with Greg And Effie to create a design for this purpose built centre. It makes a great difference to have owners and architects who are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic to embrace the benefits of natural play environments. I have previously discussed the emergence in Sydney of centres such as this in my post Childcare playspace design response to population density changes. The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre is an outstanding example of a project where consideration was given to the use of the space prior to the build rather than attempting to retrofit an unsuitable space after the design.  

















































Sans Souci Community Pre-School, 
 Sans SouciSydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes













 Bronte, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

Bronte Kids was a challenging site to work on due to its position. The centre is situated at the bottom of the gully and access to the site had to be negotiated with a neighbor. The site is overshadowed by massive established trees and is surrounded by unit blocks and residences. The brief called for the design to fit the existing space with minimal change to levels and to incorporate the existing level changes into the design. Before and after shots speak for themselves.

After 2015      



Before 2014 


After 2015

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Before 2014


After 2015 


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Before 2014


After 2015



Before 2014



After 2015


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Before 2014


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Before 2014


After 2015


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Before 2014


 After 2015


After 2015


 Before 2014


After 2015




Frederick Street Kindergarten U.C.
Preschool Playspace, 
 Rockdale, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


Frederick Street Kindergarten sits on the corner of  Frederick and Watkins Streets in Rockdale. The intersection is busy and the traffic flow is loud and constant. Design challenges included creating and maintaining secluded intimate areas within the playspace, as well as rationalizing (reducing /incorporating) the levels within the playspace, to produce an uninterrupted flow between areas of interest. A number of decks and an outdoor classroom were included for small group activities.    


Before 2013



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Before 2013


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After 2015


SDN Padddington LDC., Paddington
0-2 YOA Playspace, 
 Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes









































2014

 Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


'The Tree House Early Childhood Centre is an architecturally designed, purpose built early learning centre catering for children from 6 weeks to 5 years.'  The Centre has four separate playspaces spread over two different levels. The playspaces were new when the Centre was opened 5 years ago but were degraded and in need of A LOT of TLC. In addition, there were with problems with drainage and the base waterproofing had failed. After removing the old surfacing and installing drainage cells, new surfacing, replete with sub-soft fall where required, was installed.

The upper areas were divided into Active and Passive play areas. The Active area has a mound complete with slide and a climbing wall and an elevated balance beam. Because of the fact the playground was on an upper level the mound was constructed with light-weight materials. The passive area has an elevated smooth concrete sided sandpit (the elevation was required because of an inability to cut into the existing suspended slab and to meet the current regulations for a 500 mm depth) with a sandstone step and sandstone building platforms. Attached to the sandpit is a small dry creek bed with native plantings and a rattle bridge,  which leads to a small "yarning circle"/small group area. A water wall/ball run was included under the lean-to against the outside wall and there are drainage cells underneath permeable Stoneset fronting the area. An additional small group has been built within a semicircle of varied height timber screening on the deck.A number of trees were planted in planters throughout the upper level to provide natural shade Viewing windows in the upper levels were retained and included in the lean-to which provides shade and will be a scaffold for climbers. 

In the ground level Nature Reed was used to screen the playspaces from the street and provide a greater intimacy for the children and educators. 

The 2-3 years area has a scaled down mound, climbing wall and double slides, timber arbors, seats and a bridge that spans a dry creek bed which in turn circles a new sandstone edged sandpit. A sandstone water channel runs along the other side of the sandpit feeding into the sandpit. A pathway interspersed with native grasses connects the other end of the playspace where there are interconnected dual cube cubby-houses that have perspex panels to let in light and turfed roofs. A vertical perspex art panel allows for two children to engage in collaborative painting. If you look very closely you may also see where I left my camera case.

The babies area has a low profile sandstone edged sandpit with a building platform, a small scale mound with slide, a toddler scale perspex table, and a multi-texture pathway. The plantings in the raised and level garden beds are both durable and sensory. There is a mirror panel attached to the entry fencing and a small multipurpose deck, both can be used for provocative and interactive experiences.


Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace

Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014















 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014
 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014



 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014



 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One, 3-5 Active Play Area Playspace Playspace, After, 2014

Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace

Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014


 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014















 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014














 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014

 Level One,  3-5  Passive Play Area  Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, Before, 2014














 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014


Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014


















Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

 Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014 














Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor 2-3 Area Playspace, After, 2014















             Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace

Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014















Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014

Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014














 Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014






Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014 














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014














Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014
 


Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014



Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014 
Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, Before, 2014















Ground floor, 0-2 Area Playspace, After, 2014






U.C. Grantham Heights, Seven Hills,
 Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

 Playspace, Before, 2012










Playspace, Before, 2012

Playspace, After, 2014

















Playspace, Before, 2012


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Playspace, Before, 2012


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Playspace, After, 2014


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Playspace, After, 2014



Playspace, Before, 2012 


Playspace, After, 2014
"Yarning circle" - You can find an explanation and teaching resources at the links listed below.

  1. https://harlaxtonss.eq.edu.au/Supportandresources/Formsanddocuments/Documents/yarning-circles.pdf 
  2. https://8ways.wikispaces.com/+Teaching+through+culture 
  3. https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/downloads/approach/indigenous_res_dialogue_circ.pdf


Playspace, After, 2014
















Playspace, Before, 2012


Playspace, After, 2014

















Playspace, Before, 2012


Playspace, Before, 2012











Playspace, After, 2014





Banksia Cottage CCC,
Macquarie University, North Ryde,
 Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes



' Banksia Cottage was established by a committee of dedicated staff members of Macquarie University who needed childcare services on campus. Led by Jean Joss they lobbied the University and successfully began building the Centre in 1992.

The Centre opened its doors on Monday, February 22, 1993 as the Macquarie University Child Care Centre at Banksia Cottage.   It was licensed for 60 children and gave priority to families of University staff.  Professor Jack Bassett, Deputy Vice Chancellor, was appointed to oversee the governing Banksia Board.
In 1995, due to the increasing demand for Banksia's services, the University agreed to extend the Centre from 3 playrooms to five.

Banksia Cottage now comes under the management of Campus Life and is open to University staff and students. It retains the community spirit that it has always operated with and continues to provide high quality education and care to the University community.'

The major challenges in this design was to restructure both playspaces levels to provide a clear direct and safe pathway from top to bottom, maintain clear supervisory sight lines, integrate existing foliage and space that had previously been used for retaining into the overall design and to incorporate play and small group areas.

0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.





















0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.





0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014

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0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.


0-2 YO playspace, Before, 2013
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 0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.


0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.






















0-2 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


0-2 YO playspace, Before, 2013. 














 0-2 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


 0-2 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.














2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.
One of the things that I like about how the new playspace is being used and one of the things that continues to surprise and delight me, is when children are able to adopt and care for individual plants. The markers in the garden are the names of the children who are caring for the plants. If you want to do something similar at your centre you don't necessarily need a new playspace, you can download free plant adoption certificates here, here, here, or here and plant name markers here.   














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.














 2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.



 2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.















2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.
Some spectacular weaving on the new multipurpose frame.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.

An elevated water channel cascading down to the dry creek bed & sandpit.

 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.















2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.


2-5 YO playspace, Before, 2013.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.






















 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.














 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.


 2-5 YO playspace, After, 2014.




 SDN BERANGA,
Rooty Hill, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


From the SDN website - 'SDN Beranga Children’s Education and Care Centre is a demonstration, autism-specific service that integrates early childhood intervention and mainstream early childhood education. We offer a comprehensive and flexible approach to early childhood education and early childhood intervention for young children with an autism spectrum disorder and their families..... SDN Beranga provides a comprehensive long day care service for 24 children incorporating the following two key components, a ‘lighthouse centre’ in Rooty Hill and 13 satellite centres, enabling greater flexibility in meeting individual child and family needs.'

The first four photos were taken very soon after the playspace had been finished. The subsequent photos were taken during my visit to SDN Beranga this week. Great to talk to the director and hear how the space was "much loved" on a daily basis by the children and staff and how she had noticed a number of positive changes in the childrens' play patterns since the renovation. I was also told the texture board had become a favorite of the children, especially for children who had become agitated, it served a s a focal point for them to calm themselves.  































Jack and Jill Preschool,
Bexley, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


Playspace, Before, 2012


 Playspace, After, 2014




 Playspace, Before, 2012





Playspace, After, 2014



Playspace, Before, 2012

Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2012 


Playspace, After, 2014




Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014














Playspace, Before, 2012


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014


 Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014





Scallywags LDC
Bathurst, New South Wales
Construction: ?
I was recently sent some photos of another completed project, this time in Bathurst. Scallywags, with the help of  a local contractor, has completely changed the face of their centre to the point where the Director mentioned in an email that staff noticed an immediate change in the childrens' play patterns. She stated that the children were calmer and more centered in their activities, even when the playspace had all age groups in attendance.

Playspace, Before, 2013 


Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013 


 Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013 


Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013


 Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013


 Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013 


Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013 


Playspace, After, 2014

Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014



McDowall, Brisbane, Queensland
Construction: Gateway Constructions

I do a number of designs for centres in other states and it's always a pleasure to receive photos of completed projects and see how other contractors have interpreted my designs. I think you will agree that Kindy Garden McDowall is a beautiful centre that embodies the natural playspace concept.























Engadine, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

Another new 2014 Project

Playspace, Before, 2013  

Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013  


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013  


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013  


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014


 Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014


 Playspace, After, 2014


Playspace, After, 2014





Emmerick Street Kindergarten,
Lilyfield, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

The newest project for 2014. Disclaimer :The round object is a wrecking ball that was there already, not a design homage to Miley.  Well done Jaime and crew 1.

Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014


 Playspace, Before, 2013


Playspace, After, 2014


 Playspace, Before, 2013












Playspace, After, 2014



2013
Engadine Church of Christ Preschool,
  Engadine, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

I usually post before and after photos of newly completed playspaces but the staff at Engadine have done it form me. They kept an ongoing photo diary of the the build progress which can be viewed here.
































Rozelle Childcare Centre, STAGE II, 0-2's playspace & Community area,
  Rozelle, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

This is Stage Two in a three part process that the Rozelle CCC is engaged in to upgrade their playspaces.
The primary challenge on this project is that the CCC is located within the grounds of  the historic Rozelle Hospital and occupies the Gatehouse of the same. Therefore many, many, many conferences with the local council, arborists, historical consultants etc, etc, before the DA for Stage II was approved.  The Community area is used as a chill out area for the staff  (and parents) as well as a venue for the many fundraising events the management committee arranges. The shed near the main gate (built around the existing trees) is used for storage of prams and the centres' barbie. A side of the shed has been painted with blackboard paint, a great place to chalk news of up-coming events as well as post notices.    


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010



0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013



0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013




0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, Before, 2010


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


0-2's Playspace, After, 2013


Community Area, Before, 2010


Community Area, Before, 2010


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, Before, 2010


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, After, 2013


Community Area, Before, 2010


Community Area, After, 2013


One of the many Community fundraising projects - Selling mulch.




Angel Long Day Care, Kirrawee, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

A new project recently completed by Jamie and his team of landscape artists. In case your wondering the mirror panel is a safety product that is shatterproof.

Main Playspace, Before, 2012






Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, Before, 2012

Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013




Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


















Betty Spears Childcare Centre, Tempe, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


I could write a screed about the the design, the consultation process and the developmental intent and appropriateness of the elements however the centre, staff, parents and most importantly, children are happy and I think the before/after shots speak for themselves.

Main Playspace, Before, 2012


















Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013
















Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2013









Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, Before, 2012



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013



Main Playspace, After, 2013





Bronte Public School, Bronte, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

 Main Playspace, After, 2013


















Main Playspace, After, 2013

















Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, Before, 2012














Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2013

















Main Playspace, After, 2013


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Main Playspace, After, 2013






















Main Playspace, After, 2013

















Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, Before, 2012






















Main Playspace, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, Before, 2012














Main Playspace, After, 2013


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Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013


 Main Playspace, After, 2013


Main Playspace, After, 2013

















Chicken/Rabbit area, Before, 2012


Playspace, After, 2013






















Playspace, After, 2013


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Playspace, After, 2013



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Playspace, After, 2013




2012


Style Street Childrens Community LDC, Leichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales
 Construction: Exterior Landscapes

Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, After, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2012



Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, After, 2012


Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, Before, 2011

















Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, Before, 2011

















Main Playspace, After, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2012














Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, After, 2012














Main Playspace, Before, 2011


Main Playspace, After, 2012














Main Playspace, After, 2012


Main Playspace, After, 2012
















Kids Cottage, Hunters HillSydney, New South Wales

 Construction: Asset Landscapes

Kids Cottage, Hunters Hills (KCHH) is the second long daycare centre for Con and Mary Kakakios, following on to the hugely successful Kids Cottage, Gladesville.  KCHH is a two level, purpose built LDC positioned in a residential area of Hunters Hill. Because of its location a successful Appeal to the Land and Environment court provided an approval for the centre to be built, with conditions on the construction of the playspaces. 

The Infants area is on the upper level, easily accessible from the front entry level and carpark. The playspace contains a sand-play area built within a raised deck and a stepping-stone walk way leading to infants sized seating. The playspace is constructed to provide shelter from the wind and heat whilst allowing the children to observe and experience their environment. The different levels and structures provide both a challenge and assistance to children learning to walk. Because of the conditions of the L&E approval, a primary design consideration was to contain and diffuse any noise emanating from the area.     










The main playspace is on the lower rear level and contains a dry creek bed (with bridge and water pump), a huge sand-play area, a slide mound, a shaded stage, balance beams, two highly utilised raised vegetable and herb garden beds and numerous naturally shaded small group spots. Various pathways of different materials link all components of the playspace. Again because of the conditions of the L&E approval, fences are of an unusual height and design to contain and diffuse any noise emanating from the area whilst at the same time reflect light into the playground and not appear overawing to small children.    






















Abbotsford L.D.C., AbbotsfordSydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes

















St Andrews Kindergarten, AbbotsfordSydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes


Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, Before, 2012
Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, Before, 2012


Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012
Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012
Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, Before, 2012
Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012
Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012
 

Main Playspace, Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main Playspace, See through perspex worm farm,
Sand and water play area, After, 2012




Main Playspace, See through perspex worm farm,
Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main Playspace, See through perspex worm farm,
Sand and water play area, After, 2012

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
Before, 2012 

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
After, 2012
Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
Before, 2012

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
After, 2012. A multi-purpose mound for running, climbing, rolling and sitting. The fenced apex can be utilized by children as private areas for the individual or group. The mound also doubles as makeshift seating for small group work.

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
After, 2012



Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
After, 2012. A set of embedded hooks allows educators to change the rope ladder for two knotted climbing ropes,  a thick cargo rope, a section of cargo net, etc. 


Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, After, 2012 
The large mound encompasses as tunnel that whilst giving the children the impression of being a secret , private space is still easily supervised .

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
After, 2012. A perspex panel built in to the apex deck allows light and communication between those children outside the tunnel and those within.


Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
 After, 2012

Main playspace, Gross Motor play area, 
Before, After, 2012





MECIS, LeumeahSydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes


Macarthur Early Childhood Intervention Service (MECIS) is an early childhood intervention program for children from birth to school-entry age with developmental delays and disabilities, and their families. Whilst their playspace is much smaller than most it is no less important.  * Note: MECIS is not bound by the Education and Care Services National Regulations

The design brief for this project was to,
* Remove the fixed play equipment that dominated the playspace and create a natural sensory playspace   
   that provided universal access for children with restricted mobility,
* Provide inclusive, stable, activity venues, of optimal height, that can be utilised for multiple activities for 
   children who may have problems with Sensory Integration (SI). For example the perspex table can be  
   used to extend sand play from the sand pit, ball play or sensory art activities. The music panel can be 
   seeded with traditional and home-made musical instruments, or toys that make sounds, as a means to 
   introduce sound, music and song or to facilitate and augment sensory story telling.   

Main playspace, Before, 2012.                                                                                     
  
Main playspace, After, 2012.

Main playspace, Before, 2012.   

                                                                                                              Main playspace, After, 2012.

Main playspace, After, 2012.


Main playspace, Before, 2012.   

Main playspace, After, 2012.

                                                                                                           Main playspace, After, 2012.

Main playspace, After, 2012.

                                                                                                                 Main playspace, After, 2012.
Main playspace, After, 2012.
                                                                                                                      Main playspace, After, 2012.



Inaburra Preschool
Bangor, Sydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes

The design brief for this project was to,
* Create a safer more natural environment that would provide clear supervisory sight lines,
* Incorporate "dead" space that had previously been used for retaining or had been nominated by child care 
   regulatory bodies as unusable,
* Restructure the playground levels to provide a clear direct pathway from top to bottom, reducing trip 
   hazards and providing a gently ascent/descent for parents with prams,
* Repurposing the lower slopes to incorporate play and small group areas.     





Preschool playspace, After, 2012.




Preschool playspace, After, 2012.







Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Top and middle tiers. The middle tier of the playground had stairs whose treads and risers were of equal size. This made it  difficult for children of this age group to  ascend/ descend safely. Additionally, the step treads were too small to be used for seating. It was requested that the new design should break up the open space in the tier to provide a series of smaller more intimate spaces.





Preschool playspace, After, 2012.







Preschool playspace, Before, 2011.  Middle and lower tiers. Educators advised that the fixed cargo/scramble net was rarely use by children and that the series of stepped concrete levels was providing a mobility difficulty for parents with prams and a trip hazard for the children.









Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Middle and lower tiers. In the fore ground is a small segment of the gently graduated Stoneset pathway that now links all levels. In the rear is a series of child dimensioned stairs that can be used for small group work or as ad-hoc seating for performances.








Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Top and middle tiers. Educators reported that the children had grown bored with the fixed slide and were rolling down the adjacent slope instead.








Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Middle tier.







Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Top and middle tiers. The sandpit had been built on a slope which caused the sand to flow downwards out of the pit and onto other areas of the play ground. A concrete wall had been build around the outer lower rim of the pit to prevent this. Educators advised that the wall was non-functional and unsightly .




Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Top and middle tiers. The new sand pit is stepped and incorporates equipment boxes that double as seating, raised building platforms and a water channel that bisects the pit, doubles as a tier wall and empties into a dry creek bed watering the sensory plantings.





Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Top and middle tiers. Instead of emerging from a pump the water bubbles up from a sandstone cauldron before emptying into the rill. The water flow is controlled by an educator accessing a nearby tap which is fitted with a vandal proof keyed valve.





Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Top and middle tiers. The sandstone cauldron emptying into the rill.



Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Top and middle tiers. The sandstone rill acts as a terrace within the sand pit, a building platform and a source of water for the children and the vegetation within the creek bed.








Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Top and middle tiers. The sandstone rill.







Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Middle tier. Prior to redevelopment the area beneath the sandpit was compacted grass, used by the children as an informal pathway to the sandpit.


Preschool playspace, After,  2012. Middle tier. After  redevelopment the area incorporates a formal stepping stone pathway, a dry creek bed, a mini labyrinth/seating area and sensory plantings.



Preschool playspace, After,  2012. Middle tier. After  redevelopment the area incorporates a formal stepping stone pathway, a dry creek bed, a mini labyrinth/seating area and sensory plantings.





Preschool playspace, After,  2012. Upper tier. A large bamboo teepee seat is ringed with sensory plantings and fragrant climbers which will grow upward and between the poles creating a shaded intimated small group area/storytelling space.
Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Lower tier.
Educators advised that they wished the area to be redesigned to create a safer, more natural environment that would provide clear supervisory sight lines, utilise "dead" space that had previously been used for retaining or had been nominated by child care regulatory bodies as unusable, and to re-purpose the lower slopes to incorporate play and small group areas.

Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Lower tier.
Educators advised that they wished the area to be redesigned to create a safer, more natural environment that would provide clear supervisory sight lines, utilise "dead" space that had previously been used for retaining or had been nominated by child care regulatory bodies as unusable, and to re-purpose the lower slopes to incorporate play and small group areas.





Preschool playspace, After,  2012. A new mixed surface bike track.



Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Lower tier.
"Dead" space that had previously been nominated by child care regulatory bodies as unusable.




Preschool playspace, After,  2012. Lower tier. Prior "dead" space has been re-purposed to incorporate play and small group areas.




Preschool playspace, Before, 2011. Lower tier.
"Dead" space that had previously been used for retaining .




Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Middle and lower tiers. The slope between the middle and lower tiers is now has two separate climbing areas, (ropes and a climbing wall)  a double slide and a tunnel slide.



Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Middle and lower tiers. The slope between the middle and lower tiers is now has two separate climbing areas, (ropes and a climbing wall)  a double slide and a tunnel slide.


Preschool playspace, After, 2012. Upper and middle tiers. A series of child dimensioned stairs that can be used for small group work or as ad-hoc seating for performances, a climbing wall and an  ascending log stepper causeway.



Preschool playspace, After, 2012.  Upper and middle tiers. A series of child dimensioned stairs that can be used for small group work or as ad-hoc seating for performances, a climbing wall and an  ascending log stepper causeway with sensory plantings.


 Strathfield One stop Child Care Service (SOCCS)
Strathfield, Sydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes
SOCCS have three great new natural playspaces to replace their pre-loved predecessors.


4-5 YO playspace, Before,  2011.
 Prior to replacement a major problem in the 4 -5 YO playspace was inadequate drainage. This photo was 2 days after heavy rainfall. The lack of drainage, provided an OH&S risk and the inundated areas had to be cordoned off whilst it drained (temporarily reducing the area the children could play in), caused surface compaction and contributed to the decline of foliage in the yard.






4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012. Bearing the drainage situation in mind and in an effort to place naturalistic features where they would provide greatest benefit, a free draining creek bed was placed through the problematic area. Currently when heavy rain falls it is captured briefly for play before quickly draining to irrigate surrounding trees and foliage.  


                                                                                       




                                                                                       
4-5 YO playspace, Before,  2011.












4-5 YO playspace, After,  2012. The sandpit  bounds the creek bed (into which it drains) as does the digging patch 










4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012.
A raised pathway/bridge rings the playspace joining all areas. 











4-5 YO playspace, Before, 2011.










4 -5 YO playspace, Before, 2011.












4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012.  
The raised pathways and stages are, respectively, the appropriate width to provide access and secluded play areas for children who require universal access. 





4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012.  A multilevel   sandstone "hopscotch"  arrangement, tests childrens' balance skills, is part of the path network and can provide a discreet seating area for small groups.  









4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012.
A raised double slide with a stairway large enough to provide access to the slide and  away from the climbing incline. The incline is treated with sand/resin mixture which, whilst rough enough to provide traction, is smooth enough not to cause abrasions 







4-5 YO playspace, After, 2012.
The raised double slide and climbing incline is ringed to 1.9m along its circumference with a sub-surface soft fall installation. An additional area, used for equipment related gross motor activities, can be seen in the foreground.









Babies playspace, Before, 2011.










Babies playspace, After, 2012. The new babies area is free draining and incorporates a sandpit with building platform, a Replas seat of recycled plastic, a low incline bridge with guide ropes for new toddlers, a low incline slide and rolling hill.









Babies playspace, Before, 2011. 










Babies playspace, After, 2012.
The prior plantings have been culled and crown-lifted to provide more light whilst retaining natural shade. Sensory plantings have been added.











Babies playspace, After, 2012.











Babies playspace, Before, 2011.











Babies playspace, After, 2012.
A low incline hill and slide allows babies and new toddlers to test their balance and develop gross motor strength.  





3 - 4 YO playspace, Before, 2011. Similar problems to the other playgrounds with drainage causing surface compaction (rendering soft fall less effective) and contributing to the decline of foliage in the yard.









3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
A new mixed surface bike track, Replas seats, numerous informal semi secluded seating areas, raised pathways, multi-purpose platform a covered cubbyhouse/outdoor classroom area and a variety of sensory plantings. 






3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
The existing brick flower beds have been emptied and refilled with a free-draining soil mixture and topped with sugar cane mulch. Surrounding trees have been crown-lifted to provide the requisite minimal 6 hours of sunlight which will allow the growth of appropriate herbs, vegetables or flowers.   








3 - 4 YO playspace, Before, 2011.











3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
A raised sandstone pathway, balance beams and log steppers. 










3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
The raised sandstone pathway links various areas and is in the shape of a Robot.





3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
The covered cubbyhouse/outdoor classroom area has dual indoor/outdoor blackboards for use by budding artists or for rendering the background for a performance.  








3 - 4 YO playspace, After, 2012.
The mixed surface bike track incorporated free draining areas of cobbles, concrete embedded with pebbles, corrugated steel and various textures of Stoneset. 



ErmingtonSydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes

Congratulations to Active Kids Ermington on the completion of their new playspace. I have included some before shots so you can compare a KFC playground and a naturalistic environment, love to hear what you think.  



Main playspace, Before,  2011





Main playspace, After,  2012


Main playspace, After,  2012
Bamboo teepees with newly planted climbers and a quiet area for small groups with a sandstone
table and seats.




 Main playspace, Before,  2011


Main playspace, After,  2012
A water pump that feeds into a sandstone rill which in turn feeds into the sand pit. A Dinghy for all sorts of nautical adventures and a seat of recycled plastic that can accommodate a bevy of happy little souls and will last forever with out splintering, rotting or warping.



Main playspace, After,  2012
Reuse, reduce and recycle in action.  The gentle slope of the site is incorporated into the design. Water from the rill flows into the sandpit which in turn drains into the creek bed feeding the plants.  





Main playspace, Before,  2011



Main playspace, After,  2012
The creek bed feeds under a handmade Japanese style wooden arch bridge created to link play areas and direct the flow of traffic.


Main playspace, After,  2012
The bridge and playspace incorporate an existing Eucalyptus Haemastoma for shade and as a natural play feature.





Main playspace, Before,  2011


Main playspace, After,  2012
Multi-purpose outdoor class area that can be used for dramatic play and art.





Main playspace, Before,  2011


Main playspace, After,  2012
Enormous dual blackboards that can also be utilised as a backdrop where children can create their own sets and scenery for dramatic performances.





Main playspace, Before,  2011



Main playspace, After,  2012
Moulded concrete sleepers form a garden bed raised to child height that can be used all year to grow flowers, sensory and edible herbs, vegetables and other natural treats.  





Babies playspace, Before,  2011



 Babies playspace, After,  2012
The existing low pile artificial turf (the area is heavily shaded and cannot support real turf) in the area has been replaced with non toxic Australian manufactured high pile artificial grass that serves as a softer, cooler, safer alternative. The area now has a sand play area with raised building platform, a sensory activity spot and a child height, clear perspex art and activity table


Babies playspace, After,  2012
Pathways constructed of different materials provide tactile stimuli to babies as they crawl over them. A variety of safe, strong and durable grass plants provide different textures, smells and sounds as well as creating gentle enclosed tunnels and secret spaces.  





Babies playspace, After,  2012
The multi-purpose timber frame with hooks can be used as a sensory activity spot for babies. Staff can interchange scarves, mobiles and musical  instruments to provide a constant source of sounds, colours, textures and movement.

Babies playspace, After,  2012
A clear multi-purpose perspex table at child height.
The table can be used for craft and sensory activities, (e.g creating finger paintings without paper that are viewable from above and below the table) The table   also provides a point of stability for toddlers who  wish to join in activities. Because of its transparent nature toys and books placed on the table serve as an enticement to those children who are in the  process of learning to stand.   



John Brotchie Preschool, Part 2
BotanySydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes






A large mound encompasses a tunnel that whilst giving children the the impression of being a secret, private space, is still easily supervised. The planting ensures that children enter the space slowly, from either side, reducing risk of  those over "enthusiastic accidents"   



Board walks and stepping stones provide choice of access, at the same time defining pathways of movement. 

A multi-purpose mound for running, climbing, rolling and sitting. The fenced apex and tunnel can be utilized by children as private areas for the individual or group. The mound also doubles as makeshift seating for performances on the stage/outdoor classroom.






A perspex panel built in to the apex deck allows light and communication between those children outside the tunnel and those within.





A large sheltered outdoor classroom, come stage, for those highly creative performances.


Large multicoloured circular perspex panels are mounted at different angles on poles in the centre of the digging patch. At varying times of the day the sun bathes different areas in different colours, as the sun moves the individual foci shift and meld projecting new colour mixtures onto the building platforms, rocks and children. 

Bondi, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes


Labyrinths provide a powerful means of introducing restful movement into children’s playspaces/playgrounds. They have one path which leads to the centre and back out again and have been used for centuries as a form of meditation. Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity requiring a passive and relaxing mindset. This one has a Tristaniopsis 'Luscious' at the centre that will grow and eventually provide shade to the whole pathway.







As an alternative to highly priced, fixed use plastic equipment installations, timber and other natural materials are cheaper and can be used to craft physically challenging open ended play items, that can also promote spontaneous creative and  imaginative play.




A series of child sized raised garden beds with three poles for hanging baskets (strawberries, tomatoes etc.) and a nifty child sized potting bench.








Children's String Weaving Loom. Although not visible in this photo there are numerous galvanised hooks set in the inner side of the upper and lower horizontal beams. The materials that form the warp and weft can then be added.  








2011

Cronulla, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes





















Miranda, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes













Rozelle, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes

Note: all photographs of J M Landscapes projects are taken by Alex Kess Photography 
















Sutherland, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


















Maroubra Beach, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes






2010

 St Matthew’s Preschool,
 Baulkham Hills, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes










Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes 










Waverley Child Care Centre,
 WaverleySydney, New South Wales 
Construction: Urban Landscape Projects














BotanySydney, New South Wales
 Construction: J M Landscapes








Explore & Develop, North Ryde Public School,
 North RydeSydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes
















St Annes Childcare Centre
Ballina, New South Wales 
Construction: Unknown
Macquarie Park, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes




















Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes















2009
Miranda, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes

















Uniting Care, Janice Crosio Childcare Centre,
Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes








 


Bondi, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes







Oatley, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: Asset Landscapes




















Macquarie Park, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: Assset Landscapes


















The Emmanuel School 
Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes
















Caringbah Uniting Church Preschool 
Caringbah, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes



Bundeena Preschool 
Bundeena, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: J M Landscapes




















Balcombe Heights Children's Centre 
Baulkham Hills, Sydney, New South Wales 
Construction: Asset Landscapes





















Yass Montessori Preschool
Yass, New South Wales 
Construction: Unknown
Building Architect: Saul Kringas

















2008
St Marys, Sydney, New South Wales
 Construction: Asset Landscapes
















Tiny Tots Academy 
Caringbah, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: Parent Committee & TRPLD








The Point Preschool 
Oyster Bay, Sydney, New South Wales
 Construction: Asset Landscapes
The Point Preschool and its Director Catherine Lee are in turn, a fantastic example and a strong proponent of naturalistic playspace design. Sadly they are also the exception rather than the rule.




Kilsyth, Melbourne, Victoria
Construction: C M Landscapes














Additional Photos of the playground supplied by Palm Grove  July 2011
Thank you Naomi








Gymea, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: TRPLD


















LithgowNew South Wales
Construction: Unknown




GalstonNew South Wales
Construction: Unknown 


Bradbury Preschool 
BradburyNew South Wales
Construction: Asset Landscapes