Students at Trinity Grammar junior school in Melbourne’s Kew were literally chanting with excitement at the official opening of the school’s new playground, designed by TCL and fabricated by a_space.
The school had outgrown its previous playground – an unremarkable series of off-the-shelf structures – and wanted to replace it with something bold and emblematic that would not only cater for increased demand, but also take advantage of its prime street-front location and communicate a positive message about the school and its offering to students.
TCL worked closely with play fabricator a_space to design a highly graphic, vibrant yet refined playground structure that maximised play opportunities in a relatively constrained and narrow site.
A custom cladding system showcases the school’s signature yellow colour through circular perforations in the outer powder-coated black steel casing. To not compete with the cladding, a muted green (‘sea mist’) was chosen for the slides and connecting play tunnels. On the ground-plane strong yellow, black and electric blue patterns derived from industrial, directional and gaming signage offer opportunities for games and direct movement throughout the playground.
“The desire to create a playground using ordinary parts, transformed into something extraordinary was the driver behind the bespoke cladding – an element that would tie the playground together, in striking yellow and black, entrapment free perforated panels.”
“The limited colour palette provides a clean and unified look for a range of diverse play equipment modules, shifting the focus from a collection of parts, to a singular sophisticated play machine.”Lisa Howard, Director – Taylor Cullity Lethlean
At approximately 40m in length, the playground is loosely divided into three grades of difficulty, with the western end focused on play opportunities for the junior students, including a sand pit and small slides, and the eastern end tailored to older students (up to year six), with the structure and slides reaching over 6m in height.
The playground is the crowning piece on a wider upgrade of the school grounds, which included a new enclosed sports field, new planting beds, trees, and an upgraded interface with Charles Street.
Play Machine: Trinity Grammar Play Space
Landscape Architect: TCL (Taylor Cullity Lethlean)
Play fabricator: a_space
Image credit: ©Lisa Howard, Ricky Ray Ricardo and Courtesy of Trinity Grammar