Client: City of Greater Bendigo Status: Opened December 2013 Category: Play Space Design, Urban Environments
2014 Winner Kidsafe National Award Playspace under $500,000
The design for the Bendigo Botanic Gardens Playspace provides a wide range of play opportunities not generally available within public open space. These include:
– An undulating turf area with supplied croquet equipment (to support social play)
– A hand water pump (to allow children to manipulate their environment)
– A vegetable garden (to support cognitive and sensory play and programming)
– A musical fence (to support thematic objectives and sensory experience)
– A pair of carved giant timber thrones from sculptor Nicholas Dunand (to support social and sensory play, as well as thematic objectives)
The opening of the play space was much anticipated by visitors to the gardens, and it became the must-visit destination for Bendigo families over the summer holidays. From 9am until dusk children were running, climbing and always playing with the water pump. Children brought their own containers to water the vegetable garden, carrying sand in from a nearby sandpit, and generally enjoying a great spontaneous natural play opportunity.
Parents and children engage in play activities together; playing croquet on the undulating lawn, walking through the vegetable garden and bouncing on the trampoline.
The playspace has expanded the notion of play in Bendigo, driving up expectations from the community about the kinds of play they would like to see in playspaces and inspiring other play providers to achieve better outcomes.
The design for the Bendigo Botanics Gardens Playspace was completed by Justine Image as an employee of the City of Greater Bendigo.