Thorndon Park Playground

This one-of-a-kind playspace offers a varied range of play opportunities for people of all ages and abilities and is inspired by the diverse and plentiful bird life that Thorndon Park is known for. The goal of ‘something for everyone’ underpinned the design and true inclusivity was a core philosophy of the project to ensure all feel welcome and are able to enjoy the social and health benefits of the space. Each of the four sculptural bird structures have been designed to offer a unique activity and experience including opportunities for waterplay, slides, swings, and climbing. Focusing on creative play and story-telling, this playspace is underpinned by the Reggio Emilia principles and has resulted in a multitude of play environments that foster interaction, autonomy, exploration, curiosity, and communication; framed as places for both children and adults to explore together.

Educational features including AusLan signage and Playground Symbol Charts have also been included in the design to encourage more inclusive communication.Sustainability and bio-diversity were also key to the design with the testing and trials of emerging sustainable materials and technologies such as recycled plastic aggregate in decorative concrete paving, low heat reflective sports surfacing, and the integration of solar powered smart furniture to support wi-fi and phone charging. Bio-diversity improved throughout the park with the use of 40 different plant species and the planting of over 100 new trees which contributes to sensory benefits and improves shading.

The relationship to the adjacent event spaces makes this playspace a crucial component and activator within the framework of Thorndon Park. With capacity for local tourism and placemaking, this exciting play destination will assist in drawing people from all over Adelaide to visit the Park and the greater Campbelltown region which will be beneficial in supporting surrounding local businesses and the popular Moonlight Markets. The immersive nature of the design ensures that the wonder and joy experienced through this unfolding playspace is experienced by all, with inclusive and accessible features underpinning each space, providing quality experiences for all who visit.