The Mill at Moreton Bay
We work with many clients who are trailblazers and forward thinkers within their industry, who want to incorporate the best water feature design and products to their projects. Playscape Creations are one of those clients.
Playscape Creations are known for their thoughtful and detailed designs that take into account the importance of un-prescribed play for kids to enjoy multiple levels of exploration. That combined with safety, sustainability, and environmental concerns, create a huge win for the local councils, project team, collaborators, and local community.
Whenever we collaborate on a project with the Playscape team, we are blown away by the end result.
Meet our Client
Playscape Creations are the leaders in the Australian Recreational industry since 1988 with experience across aquatic, play and fitness space design and construction as well as custom engineering and fabrication projects. They really go above and beyond to create unique and fun recreational spaces that benefit children, families and communities all across Australia.
The Mill Project Background
The end of 2020 saw the grand opening of the custom-designed adventure and aquatic play space, called the Mill Playgrounds in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Formerly known as Petrie paper mill, this site is an integrated local development and was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) by the Queensland Government back in September 2016, to create aquatic and adventure play that would provide a unique opportunity for children of all ages and abilities to explore the limits of play while offering stunning socialization and relaxation spaces for the broader community.
In collaboration with O2LA, Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) and Playscape Creations, The Mill Playgrounds is a significant facility that adds value to the community of Moreton Bay and the council’s first-ever free water park and playscape at Petrie. This site also includes the construction of the new University of the Sunshine Coast and new health, retail, commercial and residential developments and community infrastructures.
Including the Adventure Tower, the adventure playspace embodies the old and the new representations of The Mill throughout its landscape. Standing at 8m high, the Adventure Tower is the industrial structure of the Mill itself and is a truly inter-generational structure. The Adventure Tower delivers comfortable provision of active adult supervision as all spaces – including the slides – are designed to accommodate adults and carers. With slides at both upper and lower levels, children (and adults) of all ages and levels of ability can participate and challenge themselves to explore their limits.
The playspace itself offers a range of climbing and exploratory challenges. There are climbing nets to be traversed over multiple levels before reaching the top. The top of the tower is likely what drew them there as it’s like a beacon to draw visitors in and entice children to come and play.
The aquatic playspace of the Mill is a stunning reflection of the unique elements of the Moreton Bay Region and its design echoes the site’s history. For example, the “paper scroll” water discharge bucket and scroll, pictured below, brings the history of the paper rolls Petrie Paper Pill was once famous for producing into the design. The water and energy conservation considerations of the splashpark are impressive. An activator has been fitted to ensure the operation of the water features only when the park is being used.
In their own case study, Playscape Creations wrote:
“Choreographed fountains distributed around the rill deliver an interactive water feature, with fountains programmed to dance and display multi-coloured lighting sequences. The night-time show further activates the space, with the synergy between the fountains’ dance reflected upon the shade sails.”
Crystal Fountains Involvement
Playscape Creations engaged Crystal Fountains as a parts manufacturer for product selection and programming for their interactive water feature designs.
Their design concept was to go beyond a children’s playscape to provide sensory opportunities for visitors of all ages, and we supported this concept using our lighting technology and DMX sequencing control panel.
The Mill is one of the first projects to use our new Oscilo Nozzle Technology for the benefits of controlling water flow through the nozzles, capabilities of a faster response time, smaller and efficient design infrastructure needed, a safer option to a submersible pump as well as faster and easier set up and disconnect for regular maintenance. This selection was made to support Playscape Creations in producing creative water effects that are otherwise unavailable with choreo technology. Additionally, working in conjunction with Playscapes Creations, we customized our LED007 lighting technology to make a flush-mounted product. The customization of the LED007 allowed the light to recess into the niche, once again, enhancing safety by making it childproof and used for nighttime shows.
Because of the timing of this project happening during the pandemic, a challenge that we faced was in going beyond the simulation programming and that’s easy to share with all involved. The team wanted to see how the customization and oscillo technology would work together, so we made use of our test pool and mockup facilities at our Toronto facility. Thanks to video conferencing, we shared what they would experience after installation to visualize this aspect of the project, before moving on from the design phase towards construction.
Our Contribution to their Success
Bringing the whole project together, our DMX sequencing control panel supported Playscape’s creative output of the sequences, with our team working on the programming entirely virtually in Toronto. Going past the main challenge of computer programming by setting up the entire water feature in our test pool, gave a real view of external environmental conditions such as extreme winds. Despite this challenge, our team came together halfway around the world and we were able to implement our test pool to deliver Playscapes’ design concept, ultimately leading to an incredibly successful and community project that now sees tens of thousands smiling and giggling with joy every day. And supporting their vision and concept to become an award winning “best playspace”.
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