If you live in or around Melbourne’s inner west, chances are you’ve heard about the dinosaur coming to town. It’s a Muttaburrasaurus, to be precise, an Australian Dinosaur and will be 6.5 metres long and 3.5 metres tall – almost life-sized! This new resident is sure to put a smile on any kid’s face; it’s a playground like no other!
Due to appear in McNish reserve beside the Clare Court Children’s Service, off Court Street in Yarraville, the new $100,000 dinosaur playground is being funded by Medibank and is due for completion early September.
Medibank’s advertising agency Whybin\TBWA have worked in collaboration with Big Fish Workshop to visualize the design of the Muttaburrasaurus.
Bubba West spoke with Alfons van Maanen at BiGfiSh Workshop. ‘It’s an exciting project!’ he says, ‘we’re lucky to be involved, and it’s something close to home.’ The funding by Medibank is part of the company’s Generation Better campaign, part of the company’s commitment to community health (which, in recent years, has totaled almost $2.4 million in grants to a range of community initiatives that encourage greater activity, healthy eating or more community connectedness).
The playground and its construction process will also feature in a Medibank television commercial online.
Yarraville was chosen because of the large number of young children living nearby, as well as proximity to community services and other factors.
“Via ropes, children will be able to climb inside the dinosaur, which will be constructed from a steel frame covered in cladding made from natural materials, including a woven cane ‘ceiling’. The dinosaur’s legs will be studded with climbing holds, and once inside, kids can climb up into the head part where they’ll find a megaphone”
‘The idea is that kids can roar into the megaphone like a dinosaur!’ says Alfons from Big Fish. A slide will be incorporated into the tail of the dinosaur for a quick exit!
Along with the dinosaur itself, there are several other elements including a clutch of concrete dinosaur eggs to clamber over, a cubby hut, timber poles with balance ropes, mini ‘pocket parks’, and other sculptural elements. Designed for kids of all ages, from preschoolers up, the surface will be softfall to create a low-risk play environment, while still being close to nature: aromatic plantings and a large tree trunk will be incorporated in the design.
The whole play space will sit atop an earth embankment, providing a natural stage to separate the playground from the surrounding parkland.
The playscape is set to launch to the community in early September! Stay tuned for updates in the next couple of days!