95 Chichester Dr, Taylors Lakes VIC 3038, Austràlia

VIC – The Lakes Reserve Playspace

The revitalisation of The Lakes Reserve Flagship Park in Taylors Lakes includes an enhanced playground themed around the lake environment of the park, providing exciting new activities for children of all ages and abilities. The existing iconic fish-like structure, upgraded by Proludic, forms an accessible and playful path leading to the majestic Kanopé Tree Tower.


Site context

Located in a green nature belt, The Lakes Reserve is a flagship site for Brimbank City Council . “The park is based around a series of large wetlands which filter stormwater for the surrounding catchment area. The design aims to provide a range of specific recreational activities whilst drawing inspiration from the lake environment.” (Extract from Hansen Partnership website, who prepared the initial concept design in 2007 for The Lakes Reserve in Taylor’s Lakes).

As such, the identity of the park redevelopment was to align, in context and scale, to the character of the Reserve and to the iconic, already established “fish-like structure that curves its way through the playground”. This original structure, while lacking in play value, was structurally sound and precious to the local community, so Council decided to refresh it instead of demolishing and building a new structure.

Proludic’s analysis of the existing playspace and surrounding areas at The Lakes Reserve was undertaken over three site visits. The information gathered in regards to the views, heights, play activities, site context, users, and materials has driven the strategy of Proludic’s design approach and proposals.

The Lakes Reserve
Playground before upgrade
Before upgrade – photo courtesy of Brimbank Buzz
Existing fish-like structure

Design objectives

Design considerations for the new playspace included:

  • The inclusion of multiple and diverse play elements for all children regardless of age, physical ability or impairment;
  • Allowing children to investigate in a linear manner ensuring long-term play;
  • Encouraging play within a horizontal circuit to facilitate inclusion and accommodate more users;
  • Giving children the impression of being amongst the treetops to take advantage of the beautiful views of the lake and surroundings;
  • To fit seamlessly within an already established setting whilst still prominent from all aspects of the reserve.

Choice of play equipment and materials

The client’s intention was to use a colour and material palette that blended in with the existing native flora of the reserve. Existing coloursmaterials, and forms found around The Lakes Reserve have been documented. Thus, the aesthetic properties and material qualities of the new playground have been selected for their resemblance and performance to ensure the new playspace complements the existing park setting – adding consistency and a sense of cohesion.

Proludic’s custom Kanopé Tree Tower (custom J56102) from our award-winning Kanopé range of nature-inspired play equipment provided the perfect solution to meet the client’s project brief. In perfect harmony with the surrounding natural environment the Tower is a wonderful setting for active play where older children tackle the heights with ropes and pulleys to reach the ‘tree’ top – giving them a commanding view of the park and lake and a special space above the action. A large spiral slide guarantees a thrilling ride all the way back down! The Kayak slide, Climbing wall and Fireman’s pole encourage motor skills development and add more thrills.

Kanopé Tree Tower
Kanopé Tree Tower slides
Tower – inner ropes
Tower net tunnel

The existing iconic structure in the shape of a fish was upgraded by Proludic with colours matching those of the Kanopé Tree Tower. The fish-like structure is connected to the Kanopé Tree Tower with a net tunnel and forms a wheelchair accessible ramp leading to the tower, making the play equipment more inclusive where everyone can play and interact. The upgraded structure includes play elements such as climbing wall, slide, play panel, providing further playful activities for younger children and allowing multiple access points. Breathing new life and enhanced play features back into the existing structure, while complementing the natural characteristics of the site, allowed us to embellish the reserves identity.

Native fauna found around the Lake has been represented on the play equipment. Leaf features – similar to those attached to the top of the Tower – with custom graphics representing insects such as ladybirds and butterflies, have been included in the playspace and attached to the existing fish-like structure, enhancing the nature-inspired playground theme and providing further delight! Proludic’s unique and award-winning “Grafic Games” technique was used to apply the custom designed graphics.

Structure connected to Tower
Accessible and playful ramp
Leaf Features with graphics
Tower, accessible ramp, leaves

Proludic also provided two Round Trampolines with heavy duty mat (R34-ETP-010) that give children the opportunity to experience the joy and fun of bouncing. Other play equipment includes swings and a rotating net. Nature play opportunities within the playspace and in the direct vicinity of the park provide for the exploration and discovery of nature. Rocks, water, timber logs, flora, and fauna allow children to interact with nature.

Adjacent to the playground is Proludic’s Altima climbing pole (J3503) from our Dynamic Structures range that provides teens and adults with physical and competitive challenges. The park also includes  fitness equipment, two shelters, a barbecue, two jetties extending over the lake, picnic tables, and extensive tree planting.

The installation of pathways and accessible safety surfacing was carefully considered to allow for safe and easy access throughout the playspace and to the play equipment.

Round Trampolines
Altima climbing challenge
Nature play opportunities
Nature play elements

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