To convert a sad, tired playground that was difficult to main, into a fresh, vibrant and easily maintained collection of spaces able to be used in multiple ways. As real is always difficult to maintain in high traffic areas and is made harder by increased shade, a good quality synthetic turf was used. It was installed on top of a variety of sub bases. This was dependent on the main use of the area being covered. (i.e. 300mm thick rubber was installed under the synthetic turf in the swing area)
THE CHALLENGES IN THE DESIGN
The original playground had an old kinder lawn installed. This was rendered dangerous by tree roots from the overhanging fig tree growing under the kinder lawn making dangerous bumps. This problem has been curbed by the installation of Root Barrier to the drip zone of the tree and a new sub base installed. Under the most dense part of the shade a new play space has been created using a timber deck. This creates a new sense of space under the tree that won’t get affected by shade, leaf litter or roots. We used galvanised ground screws instead of pots to install the hardwood sub-frame. These caused minimal damage to the tree’s roots and didn’t cause lime contamination from concrete, which would have happened if the conventional system of stirrups had been used.
THE FINAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN
All timber used on this site was treated using the ACQ approved method for playground use. It was also coated with an oil to further guarantee the longevity of the structures. All fasteners used were either galvanised or stainless steel to further ensure long life.
The synthetic turf used has three different coloured threads, light and dark green along with shades of brown. This helps to create a very realistic looking turf. Take a look at some of the photos in the gallery that showcase this. The transition from the different adjoining areas is seamless due to the same grass being installed on top of the different sub-bases and seamlessly joined on top.
The use of these products has delivered an easy care playground, that whilst built for durability, still delivers a pleasant welcoming set of free flowing spaces able to be used in multiple ways.