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The different ways of creating playgrounds

As a playground designer, landscape architect or developer attempting to create an iconic play structure that stands apart, it is good to ask yourself: “Am I using the best method to create an iconic and unique playground?”.

Even if you haven’t thought about it, it’s a great question to consider to ensure you get the best outcome for all stakeholders.

Before you understand the best method, it’s important to understand the different ways of creating playgrounds. These include ‘off the shelf’, ‘custom’ and ‘bespoke’. Interestingly, all these terms hark back to business suit tailoring and the three main options: an off-the-shelf suit, a customised suit or a bespoke suit.

  • Off-the-shelf: Standard products designed to provide ease of purchase and to a budget. Typically, this range allows for few, or no, changes.
  • Customised: Starts as a well-proven model or pattern then customised with a large range of materials, colours, different fits and additional features.
  • Bespoke: A completely different ballgame. You begin with a blank canvas (no pattern or plan), you have endless choices of material and the outcome is unique.

Just as businessmen make choices with the level of customisation in a suit, so do playground creators.

Why customised playgrounds?

At adventure+ we believe the best method for playground construction is customisation, here’s why:

  • Saves time: Because we have proven processes and formulae in place, customisation requires less consultation time than for a bespoke playground. Plus, there’s generally minimal on-site construction.
  • Standards Compliant: With our modular system, you can have peace of mind that all playgrounds are pre-engineered and compliant to Australian Standards.
  • Less expensive: With less consultation time and tried-and-tested construction methods, a customised playground is more economical.
  • Unique design: Great customised systems allow sufficient variation to create a unique and attractive community playground that fulfills your brief, addresses the site and provides an inclusive play space.
  • Efficient maintenance: For a customised playground that uses common components, spare parts are readily available for quick and easy maintenance. If you are creating a playground for a local council, this is particularly important for safety and minimum play downtime.
Case study: Bellyett Reserve

City of Burnside’s Landscape Architect, Claire Bottrall provided her initial pen sketches of the unique playground she wanted to create. (See figure 1 below.) Her vision was to inspire children’s imaginations with a series of connecting ‘rooms’ using existing vegetation plus structural elements.

Figure 1

The playground as sketched would not have been compliant with Australian Standards, would have been costly to construct, and maintenance would have been expensive, with spare parts needing to be bespoke.

At adventure+, we took Claire’s design and reworked it so it still had the look and feel that she wanted to achieve. (See figure 2 below.)

Figure 2

It is now compliant with Australian Standards, more cost effective because we used a modular solution, and maintenance will be easier because spare parts readily available should they be needed.

How adventure+ helps with custom design

With our tried-and-tested systems and components, we can create a unique playground for you that reflects your playground site and community needs.

As a manufacturer of playground equipment, we have more flexibility in what we produce and create.

Our range of construction materials (both steel and timber) means you can create a playground that satisfies your needs, whether it’s robust steel, timber for a softer look and feel, or a combination of both.

When you choose adventure+, you have access to a team of designers with design flair and practical working knowledge of Australian Standards and conditions.

Need advice on your new playground design?

Call our helpful team on 1300 237 587. They’re on hand to guide you through creating a unique and custom playground.

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