The design for this estate by Tract and the project team, has developed an enduring vision and created a memorable identity for the “Saltwater Coast” residential community. The built form and environment combine to create a distinctive, exciting and engaging place for people to live and enjoy the seaside location. Saltwater Coast boasts an activity centre, lifestyle centre and an extensive parkland and trail network for community recreation and a relaxed lifestyle.
In developing the contemporary coastal character, place themes, planting and recreational infrastructure such as wetlands, parklands, shelters, boardwalks and playgrounds have been implemented into the master plan, and successfully delivered on the ground. The most symbolic image of the landscape palette was the picture of an old timber fence running through the sand at the beach. This informed the selection of built form and rough coastal timber for the landscape.
The Saltwater Playground is nestled between a series of hillocks, mounds and barrows that act as seating areas, wind breaks and play opportunities; particularly as great embankments for huge slides. The landforms also help to create a defined play area which contains several play elements designed to excite all children. These include custom designed forts, sand buckets, pulleys, bells and rope bridges and swings.
The centre piece of the playground is 50m watercourse that weaves through the playground. The font and spring of the watercourse is a commissioned crocodile created from worked bronze plate and stainless steel. It is a whimsical and fun element. Water cascades from its mouth into the waiting play trough below. The playground is situated adjacent a series of wetlands and associated planting and trees weave through the space providing natural play opportunities.
The residential development thematically expresses its proximity to a beautiful environmentally sensitive area on the western shores of Port Philip Bay – through investment in public spaces, a landscape solution indebted to the natural environment, the seaside context and local beach culture has informed the entire built form outcome as well as the landscape.
Client – Aveo
Tract – Landscape Architect
Natureform – Landscape Construction Contractors
GRDC – Boardwalks & Shelter Construction
Benjamin Gilbert – ‘Crocodile’ Sculpture
BPD – Civil Engineer
Photograph Credit: Tract