In May 2017 Moduplay completed the installation of the new state of the art playground in Marapikurrinya Park, Port Hedland.
The playground was a huge success, with hundreds of locals turning out for the Saturday morning opening in early June 2017.
What made this project such a success? And what can be learnt from this project to make every project this successful?
The existing playground was burnt down in 2015 by vandals. Later the same year Port Hedland Council set up a survey on their website to get residents involved in the design process. The survey asked questions about what type of equipment was preferred, including suggestions and check boxes, and then what age ranges should be catered for in the rebuild.
This step was critical in community engagement, it really gave residents “buy-in” to the design process, and at the same time simplified the consultation process for the council, saving money and allowing more budget for the asset itself.
Once the survey was completed, the council went to multiple suppliers for quotations based on the survey results. The brief was very open but asked for the inclusion of a marine theme, climbing elements, nest swing and accessible play items. These suppliers then submitted three options each based on the brief. The openness of the brief was both challenging and exciting, allowing a lot of creativity from the suppliers.
In our design office at Wollongong we based our designs on the following thoughts:
- The old playground was burnt down by vandals, how could we address this issue with the rebuild?
- How can we make this playground as inclusive as possible while working to a budget?
- How can we capitalise on the beauty of the port and local area?
- If we were kids or parents in Port Hedland, what would we want to see in the new playground?
Our design concept included a central tower to make the most of the view out over the port, this was the Grand Gatehouse from the Skytowers range, a timber sunken boat bow to carry a light nautical theme, some freestanding dynamic items, a nest swing and, of course, the inclusive carousel. We tried to really open up the area to deter vandals, but still include as much play value as we possibly could.
The designs then went back to the residents to be voted on, again on an online survey. So the decision was literally at the hands of the people.
Throughout the construction, residents were kept updated through the Town of Port Hedland and Moduplay social media pages and various news outlets.
During the two weeks following the completion of the project, the residents were given a follow-up survey to assess how happy they are with the new playground.
“Moduplay has truly gone above and beyond in the creation of the playground at Marapikurrinya Park.”
– Naomi Phillips – Project Officer for the Town of Port Hedland