Client: ACT Government
Completion Date: 22 June 2013
Construction budget: $1.7 million
Size: 3050 m2
Photography: Brett Boardman, Gemma Fennell
2013 - AILA Victoria 2013 Design Award
Project Title: Pod Playground
Australia has a new National Arboretum. Located in Canberra, this important cultural facility is host to 100 forests of rare and endangered trees from around the world. High on the hill sits the pod playground.
The opportunity to design a play space as part of the 100 forests facility offered an opportunity to creatively engage children with the beauty of trees and we hope, foster a life-long connection to this remarkable environment.
Using the idea of seeds as the beginning life amongst the forest, children and their families can enter a fantasy world of exaggerated scales. A play space with giant acorns floating in the sky, and enormous banksia cones nestled on the forest floor.
The design recognises that play is a vital social development and educational tool for children of all ages, and is particularly important when it assists in forming relationships to its landscape, climate and surrounding context. The world amongst the giant seeds aims to stimulate spontaneity and creativity, to foster the imagination and to challenge and encourage confidence with growth.
"The sheer joy of design is evident in this play space. The result suggests a wonderfully collaborative relationship between the designers, the fabricators and the contractors. It suggests they had as much fun designing and building the space as the children now have using it."
Jury Citation, AILA Victoria 2013 Design Award