Glenferrie Primary

When Glenferrie Primary wanted to transform an old school asphalt corner into a shaded, welcoming new entrance and play space, Great Spaces got to work.

Brief

Glenferrie Primary is almost 150 years old and features large expanses of asphalt, typical of a more regimented era. The school wanted to transform a stark, underutilised quadrangle with rear street access into a welcoming entrance while creating a new play and exploration destination.

Design

A large emphasis was put on introducing natural elements to soften the landscape while encouraging students to appreciate our native landscape and the importance of the environment. The Great Spaces team looked at how we could utilise some existing trees as a shade canopy and redevelop the area underneath. A concept featuring free-flowing paths, stepping and balancing logs, rocks, play decks, and indigenous planting was agreed upon, and work commenced.

Construction

The first task involved excavating and removing a vast quantity of asphalt and compacted earth. New gravel paths and nature play structures, rocks, flat-top logs, and garden beds were laid out. The team constructed a series of organically shaped decks for sitting, playing, and navigating the space off the ground. New ascending and descending logs formed natural steppers for the kids and borders for the beds. Natural untreated native timbers smoothed for safety were used throughout.
We brought in fresh, fertile soil in preparation for introducing plants native to the area. Bird-and-bee-attracting Bottlebrush was planted to provide more shade in the future, while low shrubs and native grasses create a natural environment in stark contrast with the previous landscape. The school now has a new welcoming entrance, buzzing with excitement and opportunities to hop, step, skip, and run through.