New Nature Play Area Opens in Herzog Park, Rathgar, Dublin City.
“Essentially this is a park designed by children, for children” – Debbie Clarke, Play Development Officer, Parks and Landscape Services, DCC.
‘Help Nature and Have Fun’ in Herzog Park, Nature Play Area
We were invited to become part of the Dublin City Council design team which consisted of the Parks department, including Debbie Clarke play development officer and the Local Area Office. Our brief was to design an engagement process with the children of three local schools in Rathgar, and develop indicative designs based on this engagement process for the tender process, along with jointly project managing the build of the nature play area. We themed the engagement process ‘Help Nature and Have Fun’
We found by creating a process where it was clear to the children their voices mattered they demonstrated a very high capacity to contribute to the design process. Our first workshop was around ‘Big Ideas’ The second, we visited the uniquely graded site, which is a pocket mature woodland with beech, ask and sycamore trees. Our Final workshop we put our ideas to together, now fully familiar with the nature of the site. Children from some of the schools had very high environmental intelligence and demonstrated how the new park could contribute to achieving the SDGs 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, 13 Climate Action, 14 Life on Water + 15 Life on Land.
On Dublin City Council website you can find Details of the consultation process and proposed concept designs which will form part of the design brief for the new playground can be viewed by clicking here.
We ran an exhibition to show all the children’s work and gain feed back before going out to tender. Our practice are delighted that Play & Leisure Services, won the award. They kept very close to the indicative designs and built upon them with the play elements of high play value like the Titan Swing. We were particularly pleased with the recognition that was given to the unique nature of the site, its gradients and mature trees. This nature as well as the children’s work greatly inspired the indicative design. On the 14th of September, a special day for children of Rathgar. The fruit of our meaningful collaborative design process has ripened with the grand opening of the Nature Play Area.
Also On Dublin City Council website: