Snakey Grass Pass

CERES Adventure Habitat

01/12/2012 - 20/07/2013 Melbourne
Completed sand pitsImage showing the project during construction. Paint brushes can be seen soaking after painting the tops of the logs.Volunteers planting grasses in the adventure habitat.Sarah applying a waterproof protective coating to the bases of the logs.ESLA & UNA collaborative design13 LogsIndicative design sectionPlaytime

The play space has been hand crafted from locally sourced Fraxinus oxycarpa logs. Commonly known as the Desert Ash, the Fraxinus oxycarpa is classified as an environmental weed and was removed from the banks of Merri Creek by Melbourne Water. The black timber finish was inspired by an ancient Japanese technique for preserving timber, Shou-sugi-ban. The logs were scorched at temperatures of up to 2,800 °C, doused in water then treated with Tung oil, an oil extracted from the nut of Vernicia fordii, the Chinese Tung tree. This landscape has been designed to provide children the opportunity to engage imaginatively with natural elements and get their hands dirty.

Mounded, grassy topography embedded with timber logs creates an uneven & imaginative playing surface for young children.

Scattered clumps of indigenous grasses further enhances the experience of free playing.

Snakey grass pass uses natural materials for play allowing predominately urban children to experience and interact with textures and smells reminiscent of our bush environment.

The sand and digging pits provide the opportunity for direct engagement with these natural elements. Children can play in groups in the larger communal pit or allow their individual imaginations to run wild in the smaller more intimate play areas.

By removing the predetermined use of a play element children can experience an endless number of physical play activities including climbing, jumping, running, digging, making & rolling.

This project was realised as a collaboration between Bush Projects and ESLA.

Landscape Type: 
Public Space
Sarah Hicks
Bon Bon Grant
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