Site: Pencil Park Playground, Hidden Grove Reserve, 152 Hidden Grove Boulevard, Keysborough, Victoria 3173
Client: City of Greater Dandenong
Age Range: from 1 year old

The old ‘Pencil Park Playground’ at Hidden Grove Reserve has been upgraded with a larger new neighbourhood level playground. The client sought a playground design proposal for a “visually interesting, challenging and fun play environment that caters for the needs of children of all ages and abilities.”

Proludic collaborated with Greater Dandenong Council to design a wetland themed playground for ‘Pencil Park’ that strongly integrates the equipment and activities with the adjoining parkland and wetland habitat. The diverse offering of challenging and fun play equipment for older children and teenagers as well as for young children has responded to the community’s aspirations for their new playground.

Jane Brodie, Coordinator Strategic, Design and Sustainability Planning at City of Greater Dandenong
Pencil Park Playground at Hidden Grove Reserve

Some of the key design objectives for the new play space included:

  • to encourage active, imaginative and social play for both younger and older children and teenagers ;
  • to provide fun and challenging equipment ;
  • the play space is to be full of interesting and well-designed play activities to be enjoyed by the community ;
  • to have a strong visual relationship with the open grass area and picnic area ;
  • to include equipment of varying heights ;
  • Views to the wetlands with the use of elevated elements such as higher viewing platform ;
  • to select some equipment and design elements that is themed with the wetland and natural elements of the park ;
  • The design needs to integrate the pencil sculpture elements, which are features of the park. The park is anecdotally known as ‘pencil park’.

The playground design includes a Multi-Play unit from Proludic’s award-winning Kanopé range which combines a modern streamlined aesthetic with natural inspirations. With increased modularity and enhanced play features, the Kanopé Multi-Play engages children of all ages in fun, imaginative and active play. Other play elements providing opportunities for nature play as well as climbing and balancing challenges include the Climbing Hut and equipment from the Proludic Origin‘ natural play range.

A custom Wetland-themed Play Panel has been specifically designed to fit in with the wetland and natural elements of the park. The playground also includes dynamic play items such as an Inclusive Carousel, Pod Swing, Trampoline, Spinning Rope Pyramid Net, Cableway and Springers. The Chimes Solo provides additional sensory and inclusive play opportunities for young children.

Our client was very pleased with the outcome of the project and provided the following feedback:

Very pleased with the development of the concept design of the playground and the follow up at each stage of the design process.
The layout of the playground with the integrated landscaping provides a holistic response to the playground, rather than just ‘equipment’. The custom wetland themed play panel is a really lovely ‘educational’ addition to the design given its location next to the wetland. The Kanopé range integrates with the wetland theme with its lime green posts and timber elements providing a soft and calming visual environment as well as complementing the use of the timber climbing poles and the tree planting.

Jane Brodie, Coordinator Strategic, Design and Sustainability Planning at City of Greater Dandenong.
Pencil Park Playground at Hidden Grove Reserve

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