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LEADERS RECREATIONAL INNOVATION
We are a specialist team thinking beyond the conventional to create unique, award winning recreational spaces to benefit children, families and communities across Australia.
We are proud to take you on the journey from design through to completion of our latest aquatics project, Flagstone Waterpark.
Throughout this project, we have provided our clients with full end to end design, engineering and construction services to deliver a key infrastructure asset to the wider Logan City community.
As the leader in the design and construction of adventure, inter-generational and aquatic play environments, we excel in creating unique recreational spaces.
Playscape Creations was an integral part of the partnership that designed, engineered and constructed the Logan Gardens Waterpark project.
The partners for this project were:
Situated halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Logan City is a multicultural riverside region, home to more than 300,000 Queenslanders. Full of natural beauty, with extensive parks, wetlands and nature reserves, the Logan Region is also an economic hub for local businesses. Historically, the area has been considered a poor socio-economic region, with above average unemployment rates and welfare acceptance, coupled with lower house prices.
More recently, Logan City has become South East Queensland’s cultural epicentre, with the diversity of the local community thriving and taking tremendous pride in their city and community assets. In a region generally overlooked for funding and infrastructure projects, Logan City Council’s decision to invest in Logan Gardens and deliver a recreational gathering space for its local residents is revolutionary.
The Logan Gardens site was selected by Council to improve consolidation of the existing civic space with room for expansion as part of the master plan, creating a central icon within Logan City. The current parking facilities and amenities block also meant less of the overall budget needed to be spent on these infrastructure upgrades.
The delivery of the Logan Gardens project was a partnership between the Principal Contractor Interface Landscapes, Landscape Architects URBIS and aquatics construction specialists Playscape Creations. Having worked together on several projects previously, the strength of the team’s expertise proved invaluable to council, who selected the partnership through a rigorous tender process. Project delivery was overseen by project management firm CoLab.
The original concept design realises a balance between providing an integrated landscape response while capturing and maximising the value of the aquatic play as the destination. Unified with Council’s newly constructed Wembley Link Pathway, the initial design sketches celebrate the diversity of the local community in an eloquent piece of landscape architecture. Featuring towering totem poles and colourful patterning representing the “flags of the world”, colours from the flags of the most prominent nationalities in Logan were represented in new and engaging ways.
Featuring a variety of water experiences, generous relaxation areas and an allowance for a flexible gathering space for events like outdoor cinema and commercial food truck operators, URBIS’s concept design fulfilled the Council brief.
Throughout the design engagement process, each element of the space was carefully considered for aesthetics, safety in design and structural engineering and construction feasibility. While the initial design intent and integration with Wembley Link remained true, the water park elements and recreational amenities evolved further to cater specifically to the communities’ needs.
Connections were carefully considered throughout the design, from the arbours and zoned eating areas to the paths connecting through to Wembley link and the surrounding community amenities. As a result, the thoughtful design leadership demonstrates how something as simple as a pathway connection can become a meaningful and welcoming journey, opening access to the space for the whole community. Contextually, a number of links and connections were identified that could be considered as part of future park planning.
Council wanted to ensure there were plenty of relaxed lounging areas for supervision of children using the space, so a number of platform seats were included to accommodate families and larger groups, draped in colourful 'welcome mats' to continue the multi-cultural theme. Innovative caterpillar style seating was conceptualised to create a functional border between the aquatics and adventure play areas, with the snaking arrangement reflective of the flow of water throughout the aquatics section.
To reflect the importance of the indigenous community to Logan City’s culture, local aboriginal artist Jessica Skeen McKinnon was engaged to create the interactive artwork on the raised toddler table. Entitled “Logan – a place of resilience and harmonious growth”, the water table celebrates the community coming together and taking steps toward a positive future, and represents how understanding and accepting ones past can pave the way for a more united and content community; the ripple effects will just keep flowing on.
Jessica’s designs were transposed onto the decorative roof arbours, with the perforations becoming a stunning visual piece that enchants park goers from dawn til dusk as the interplay of light throws shadows onto the ground and tables below. The images depict groups that have travelled across oceans and rivers to live in Logan City.
MULTIPLE PLAY OPTIONS
The aquatic play area evolved from a simple “pop-jet plaza” to incorporate a range of active and passive aqua play opportunities for users of all ages. Totem poles with sprays at various levels provides and active play area, with multiple sensory experiences from the spray mist to the textured ground and water underfoot.
A custom dumper bucket adds thrill and adventure; discharging an incredible waterfall of water sporadically to users below eagerly waiting in anticipation. A 50mm deep wading pool was integrated into the space with the discharge bucket to create a safe but different tactile experience; complete with low level water jets this space caters to both passive and active play.
There were additional CPTED considerations based on the lower socio-economic area; from the careful selection of materials, finishes and product selection to ensuring there was enough open space to allow clear lines of sight throughout the waterplay area for active carer supervision.
The creation of the 50mm wading pool required some additional safety requirements. While the depth itself does not require supervision for users, it was deemed unsafe to leave the area with standing water when the park is not in use. Playscape Creations engineered a system featuring air actuated valves that actively drain the water from this pool area at the close of business every day.
The need for an upgraded amenities building was identified at the design stage to cater for additional users and the need for a plant room for the filtration equipment. This was further documented through the engineering phase as the requirements for the plant room are determined by the hydraulic user loads.
A range of choreographed fountains were introduced to the design to increase interactivity within the space. Incorporating colourful lights and variable fountain heights and pressures, the inclusion of the Crystal Fountains meant the space could be activated at night, increasing the community’s use of the park for daily use and specialised events.
Shade has been an integrated feature of this design from the outset, with the functional hyper-sails intended to add to the overall aesthetic of the park. Acting as a mirror, the sails reflect the flow of the water below and the dancing colours of the choreographed fountain lights at night, giving park goers a truly immersive sensory experience.
Featuring a number of custom designed products; from the spray totems to the discharge bucket, arbours and seating arrangements, extensive engineering was required to ensure safety in design requirements were going to be met and that the design could transition smoothly to the construction phase.
For longevity and minimal ongoing maintenance for Council, the spray totems were manufactured from powder-coated 316 stainless steel. The unique discharge bucket is maintenance free, periodically (and unexpectedly) dumping water on the exhilarated children below.
To eliminate potential damage caused by pressure changes building up over time and causing vibration in the pipes, Playscape Creations engineered custom anti-water hammer technology to provide smooth activation.
Prior to construction, full structural and hydraulic engineering plans were completed by Playscape Creations to ensure the site will be stable and the aquaplay slab, features and infrastructure will be able to process expected bather loads. Services running through the park – such as the main sewer line – were also identified and documented to be re-routed to the new amenities facility. An equipotential bonding plan provides additional safety to park users and is an essential component of the engineering process.
Playscape Creations teamed up with internationally renowned fountain manufacturer Crystal Fountains to create a WaterLab simulation of the choregraphed fountains, providing Council with the 3D visual effects of both the water and light choreography. This true to life simulation showed the water and light effects that would be achieved through the passive and dynamic shows, even modelling the reflection of the light on the shade sails at dusk. Council selected 3 different choreographed programs; a passive show for the toddlers with low water heights and pressures through to 2 dynamic shows with fast and high water movement and lots of dancing colour.
The construction and product fabrication phase occurred simultaneously, with custom product being fabricated offsite to ensure project delivery timeframes could be met, without holding up the construction programme.
As Principal Contractor, Interface Landscapes were responsible for site and community safety, while liaising with Council and ensuring the programme continued as planned.
In an aquaplay area, the features and water flows you see above the ground are only the tip of the iceberg; beneath the waterplay slab are kilometres of pipework, valves and safety systems driving the features, as well as the plant room facility which is responsible for ongoing water quality.
Continual survey set-out took place throughout the job, maintaining placement accuracy. Due to poor ground conditions the site required 50 bored piers for additional stabilisation. After the aquaplay area excavation, balance tanks were installed to process contaminated water, all of the pipework was run alongside all of the electrical requirements. Earthing throughout the aquaplay area was completed at this stage in accordance with the equipotential bonding plan. Hydraulic construction is a specialist field as once the slab has been poured the infrastructure cannot be modified.
Playscape Creations was responsible for all structural concrete pours, which required pre-pour pressure testing and extensive engineering, inspection and quality assurance documentation.
The structural elements such as the spray totems and discharge bucket were installed with the aid of multiple crane lifts. The 14 tonne water table was created with a custom mould and constructed in a single concrete pour off-site, then craned into position.
The installation of the Crystal fountains required careful consideration, with infrastructure installed prior to the slab pour and then product hardware installed prior to commissioning. After pressure testing, the fountains were put through their paces running the custom programming created during the design phase to ensure the show's performance matched the WaterLab simulation.
The site's surface underwent a number of waterproofing applications and was finished off with decorative Tuff Coat paint surface finishes for slip resistance.
The Plant Room is hidden behind the new amenities block and is fully equipped with the latest technology, producing 1,400L of clean water per minute. The water quality is effectively managed through four sand filters and additional dosing and sterilising systems, with a unique user interface that allows remote system monitoring via telemetry.
A number of established trees on-site required careful consideration around the tree protection zones. Throughout the aquaplay construction, landscaping works were being undertaken to fabricate and install the custom arbours, shade and seating. Extensive plantings were completed to disguise and protect the underground balance tanks, and new turf was laid to enhance the overall beauty of the site.
Construction of the water park was completed in December 2019, with final landscaping completed in January 2020. The waterpark opening occurred over the Australia Day long weekend, this opening was not actively advertised, however, the local community was so invested in the project that more than 93,000 people interacted with a single organic social media post broadcasting the open. Patronage on the opening weekend was more than triple what was expected; but all park systems handled the additional bather load without incident.
The Logan Gardens Water Park is an asset for the Logan City community, with people travelling from all over Brisbane to visit; staying and playing in the region and contributing to the local economy. Having this public space breaks down barriers to people travelling into the region, and reduces the stigma around this area.
Visiting Logan Gardens’ Waterpark on any weekend, you can see people of all ages and abilities, from all cultural backgrounds interacting and socialising, harmoniously enjoying a space that was so thoughtfully created for all to enjoy.