The City of Busselton has won the Award for Play Space (projects between $250,000 - $1 million) for its innovative new Yallingup Play Space At the 2014 Parks and Leisure Australia – WA Awards of Excellence
The Yallingup Play Space is located at the main entry point to Yallingup Beach, one of Australia’s premier surfing beaches and home to a number of major surfing events including the Taj Small Fries competition.
Developed to harmonise with the natural landscape and reflect the surfing culture, the play space is situated amongst mature trees and overlooks ‘Yal’s Mainbreak’ surf spot.
The intention behind the design was to create an area for ‘nature play’ providing a challenging space for children of all ages and abilities.
This objective was met with great success and the new play space has been embraced by locals and visitors to the popular tourist spot.
“The play space offers a mix of imaginative and interactive elements incorporating physical challenges, creative play and educational learning experiences,” said City of Busselton Mayor, Ian Stubbs.
“It’s been designed with significant community input to both reflect and respect Yallingup’s unique coastal environment.”
The need to revitalise the original playground, built by locals 15 years ago, was identified through the City’s Asset Management Plan.
Given the level of local involvement in the original construction and the close affinity people have with Yallingup Foreshore and beach, the City consulted widely with the community to design the new play space.
The City was also sensitive to retaining some of the original features and art work pieces within the new design.
The concept for each new play element, the materials used and the layout and landscaping were developed within the context of the original playground and in a way that complements the natural surroundings.
Innovative design elements include; a rustic timber beach shack topped with a surfer weather vane; a wave sculpture; and a timber balance ‘surf’ board.
Children can also play in created reef rock pools complete with fossilised coral; climb over laterite outcrops and through a cave tunnel.
The new play space incorporates sculpted carved logs; climbing walls, play boulders, stepping stilts and rope balance challenges, slides and custom swings.
One of the key construction methods for the play space was the use of Gunite (spray on limestone concrete) to create the replica reef.
This treatment was also used as a covering on existing walls, reducing costs and complementing the overall theme of the new play space.