Armstrong Regional Park
Project NameArmstrong Creek Regional Park by MGD Landscape Architects
Photographer DetailsJames Newman
The park is the first of its kind in the Greater Geelong Region, spanning a varied array of play spaces and passive open areas. The site presented a multitude of challenges, which were taken as opportunities by MDG-LA. A concave land form, existing River Red Gum’s in a large tree protection zone, and a Cultural Heritage Management Plan partially covering the site, the park had many obstacles and sensitive land areas to engage with.
Timber has been used extensively, both structurally and as shading, and cladding. Most importantly timber has been used to form a human connection to the built form in the context of the sensitive location. The adjacent community facility predominately uses Corten steel, which with it’s weathered appearance, will relate strongly to the natural weathering of the timber.
The park and playground is part of the development of the Armstrong Creek Region in the designated growth area between Geelong and Torquay. With a construction cost of 2.6 million dollars, and an area of 1.1 hectares, the park has a wide scope of functions and spaces.
The park project brief included many elements, being the primary green space for an entire new township. It features a large shaded picnic shelter, pergola, BBQ facilities, toilets and amenities, boardwalk, sculptures, a feature play tower, shaded sandy play area, and a diverse range of play equipment. All this has been set within the existing ecosystem of Armstrong Creek, which includes a natural tributary creek line with ancient trees and a more recently built wetland system on the southern end.
Timber was a core focus of the material palette, both for it’s aesthetic, and for it’s visual language as a natural, playful material with a strong connection to the earth. MGD sought a strong relationship between the built project and the site, and timber provided an important link between the architecture and the natural environs, forming a mutual bond. Recycled ironbark timber was largely used, along with new white cypress. Seating and play equipment are all timber based, with the park as a whole operating as a celebration of the versatility of the Earth’s most natural building material. Careful detailing minimised timber waste, and innovative uses make timber the star feature of the park. The project’s realisation relied heavily on the unique properties of timber.