Thorndon Park Playground was designed by JPE Design Studio for City of Campbelltown on Kaurna Country in SA.
This playspace is a one-of-a-kind landscape that offers a varied range of play opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, inspired by the diverse and plentiful bird life that Thorndon Park is known for.
Focusing on creative play, inclusivity and story-telling, this playspace is underpinned by the Reggio Emilia principles, creating a multitude of play environments that foster interaction, autonomy, exploration, curiosity, and communication; framed as places for both children and adults to explore together.
Thorndon Park Playground was awarded a National Award of Excellence for Play Spaces at the 2023 National Landscape Architecture Awards. Of this project, the jury commented: "Thorndon Park Playground is an exemplary project that illustrates how landscape architects can deliver diverse and unique play experiences while remaining grounded in local site and community needs. Here, sculptural play elements are formed to represent local birdlife, with structures remaining open to interpretation and allowing space for imaginative play. Planting has been selected to support the local bird and insect life, with priority given to habitat species.
A targeted engagement program has ensured that this play space is designed for its particular community and connects to surrounding site uses. The playground is inclusive, with consideration for both children and their guardians. Additionally, the designer worked with a local Kaurna representative to respectfully integrate language and culture. Each sculptural bird element includes a Kaurna name.
With bespoke elements that are connected to the unique place and community, this minimal yet sensitive design ensures many playful moments while also demonstrating that playgrounds can be design-led – they can be beautiful as well as fun."
View the gallery.
2023 AILA National Award of Excellence for Play Spaces
Kaurna Country, SA
Awarded to JPE Design Studio
With LCS Landscapes (Builder), Able Access Design (DDA), Chris Sale Consulting (Cost Consulting), CPR Engineering (Civil & Structural Engineering), Trinamic Consultants (Services & Hydraulic Engineering), Exhibition Studios (Sculptural Play Fabricator), South Australian Parkour Association (SAPA), Deaf Butterfly (Auslan Signs), Two Way Street (Communication Signs), City of Campbelltown’s Disability Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DAIAC), City of Campbelltown’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), Iguana Creative (Feasibility Design of the Bird Sculptures)
Photographs by David Sievers.