Jumping. Climbing. Building. Tunnelling. Chevron Parkland, within Stadium Park at Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, is designed to ignite the imagination and connect kids with nature and indigenous culture.
We rehabilitated the former sewage treatment plant and rubbish tip beside the Swan River, transforming it into a place of discovery for kids and families to enjoy ‘365 days of play’.
The site is an important place for the local Whadjuk people, so we worked closely with Whadjuk community members to best represent their culture and depict their connection to country.
The six Whadjuk seasons are reflected throughout the six zones of Chevron Parklands through plants, materials, play themes and signs. For example, the Birak ‘first summer’ zone teaches kids about finding places to beat the heat, like the cooling ‘numbat burrows’ and tunnels. Stadium Park’s arbour tells the Aboriginal Creation Story, and most of the precinct’s public art is by indigenous artists.
We rehabilitated the entire site – improving soil and water quality and flood resilience – and introduced thousands of indigenous plants to the park, lake and river edges to create a habitat for native birds, fish and insects. And we transformed the area’s once-desolate spaces into a series of scenic promenades, cycle paths, and flexible event and play spaces – all punctuated by landmark public artworks.
Now, what was once a wasteland is a rich landscape for celebrating Perth’s heritage, land and people – proof that even the most unloved urban places have huge potential.