Frew Park Playground

Design Feature
Project Type
Playground
Location
Urban
State
Queensland

On 29 November 2014, Frew Park in Milton was opened to the public on the former site of the Milton Tennis Centre (established in 1915) and Milton Bowl (established in 1962). Named after the founder of Queensland Tennis, Mr Robert Frew, Council developed a vibrant sport and recreation hub that celebrates the history of the site, hosts a playground that includes all-abilities equipment, and provides an opportunity for active play for older children and teenagers. The development of the park also uses innovative approaches to flood resilience and community engagement, which create a long-lasting, social space for the local community. 

Creating memorable experiences

The playground is the stand-out feature of the park. As neighbouring parks already had playgrounds for younger children, this project was deliberately designed to suit children aged 10-15, a traditionally difficult age to design for. To achieve this, more challenging activities and equipment were integrated into the design of the space, as well as areas to ‘hang out’ and engage in group social play. The park also offers users the autonomy to create their own play experience without feeling like they must follow a designated pattern.

Frew Park’s playground provides a very active environment for community members, facilitating outside play and the enjoyment of the natural environment.
Frew Park’s playground provides a very active environment for community members, facilitating outside play and the enjoyment of the natural environment.

Brisbane City Council’s project team developed an innovative concept for the playground, based on the former tennis centre grandstand, where a perimeter shell structure acts as the focus of the play experience.

The play equipment comes complete with some deliberately built-in challenging elements. Kids can take on the level of challenge they desire, which in turn leads to an increase in confidence.
The play equipment comes complete with some deliberately built-in challenging elements. Kids can take on the level of challenge they desire, which in turn leads to an increase in confidence.

This allows young people (and their adventurous parents/carers) to imagine they are climbing on the derelict grandstand or performing with their friends. Council formed a partnership with The Playworks and Guymer Bailey Architects to design and build the space.

Called ‘The Arena’, the playground is a clever mix of architecture and play incorporating large slides, climbing walls and tunnels up in the air. It is not for the faint-hearted, with the pinnacle of the space being a mesh cage seven metres off the ground, reminiscent of the former Milton Tennis Centre commentator’s box.

The Arena also encourages more participatory play where parents/carers and their children can interact together to create memorable experiences.

Project team

  • Natural Environment, Water and Sustainability Branch, Brisbane City Council
  • City Projects Office, Brisbane City Council
  • The Playworks
  • Guymer Bailey Architects

Project cost

  • $12.6 million for the park project in its entirety.
  • Playground component approximately $1 million.
Frew Park’s playground provides an enhanced recreation space with opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors.

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