Redfern Park – creating a different playground experience

Redfern Park, Minto, Australia

Redfern Park is located in the suburb of Minto, 60 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD. Minto is an outer ring suburb currently undergoing a major urban renewal process as the result of changes to the State Governments public housing policy that is seeing the enclaves of the 1970’s being rebuilt as new socially diverse suburbs. The replanning of Minto has delivered a new subdivision layout, which has created an opportunity for several new parks. The parks are intended to foster and encourage social cohesion and identity for the newly reconfigured suburb by contributing to a strong local identity and creating a mix of opportunities for recreation and social interaction. JMDdesign are designing six new parks in the suburb.

Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Plan - Redfern Park, Minto © JMD Design
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
In the foreground is one of the bridges that cross the raingarden. The turfed amphitheatre can be seen to the left of picture. © Brett Boardman

Redfern Park completed in November 2010 covers an area of approximately 2 ha on a sloping site. The eastern portion of the park is set aside for bush regeneration and planted with local species. The central portion allows for run-a-round and informal picnicking. The western portion of the park incorporates stormwater management measures in the form of gross pollutant traps, a rain garden and a large detention basin that doubles as an amphitheatre. Two steel bridges cross the rain garden to connect adjacent streets into the park and give access to the playground, the two picnic shelters and the yet to be completed community centre. The playground caters to a range of older age groups and occupies the western slope of the park adjacent to the future community centre. The playground twists and steps down the slope from the street to the amphitheatre providing a challenging and diverse play environment with a variety of spaces, edges and activity zones to encourage incidental gathering.

JMDdesign sought to create a playground experience that is very different from the traditional grouping of propriety play equipment but rather give a serendipitous experience that is particularly of this place.

Project Name:               Redfern Park

Landscape Architect:     JMD Design

Client: Landcom

Location: Guernsy Avenue, Minto, Sydney

Project started:         2008

Project completed:    2010

Size: 2ha

Project Cost: Approx $2 million

Structural Engineer: Northrop

Civil Engineer: Alan Lalich and Associates

Project Manager: Mott MacDonald

Landscape Contractor:  Co-ordinated Landscapes

Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Amphitheatre and on-site detention basin © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Bridge across raingarden, amphitheatre in background © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Bridges across the raingarden and a picnic shelter in background looking up towards the grassed open space © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Walls create dynamic heights, angles and shapes leading from the playground, past the raingarden to the picnic shelter in the background. © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Stair detail © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Playground showing 3 metre high climbing mound in the foreground and spinning spicas behind. © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Picnic shelter. © Brett Boardman
Redfern Park, Minto, Australia
Playground viewed through beams of picnic shelter. © Brett Boardman

About Damian Holmes 3226 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at