Diamond Creek Memorial Kindergarten were looking for a redesign of their existing ‘garden’ play area that was in keeping with their natural setting and responded to the genuine ‘voice’ of the children attending the centre. The intent was that this masterplan would also provide the basis for funding applications, in particular the Victorian State Government ‘Inclusive Kindergartens’ Grant.
A number of tweaks were made to further embellish the existing garden area, whilst remaining true to the developing vision of the space. During the development of the masterplan, the fixed equipment was removed from the upper softfall terrace paving the way for the inclusion of two new willow pod cubbies to be built by the children with artist Gay Chatfield, (part of a sustainable ‘pod village area’) and a new ‘lookout’ cubby was created for the children to have height for views out. The existing softfall mulch area around the swings was converted into a new rock surrounded sandplay area with a hand pump for water use. The existing sandplay area at the bottom of the slope was converted into a stage deck area with tiered sleeper seating built into the ground. A new terraced area was created within the lower area, with fencing to allow for the future development of raised gardens and possibly an outdoor kitchen or fire pit area. Additional native planting was included in sections as well.
The project has all been achieved with a relatively modest budget and flexible design thinking on behalf of the centre students and educators.
Masterplan Design completed: December 2018
Documentation completed: May 2020
Construction completed: September 2020