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Mahara Place


Mahara Place Play Ground

Kapiti District Council
Circa Budget:

The Mahara Place playground is in the heart of Waikanae, in the Kapiti District Council. Overdue for an upgrade, their existing space was old and dangerous for users.

They required a transformation to improve safety, but not only that, they wanted to make the new playground accessible for users of all abilities.

Understanding their needs and finding the best way to approach this small space to create a unique area, Creo worked with the Council to develop this new great playground.

The Collaborative Approach

Initial Engagement

The project began with a detailed brief from the council, emphasising the need for a safe, imaginative, and culturally relevant play area. Our team’s first step was to understand and explore this brief thoroughly.

Community and Artist Involvement

 Key to our approach was the collaboration with local stakeholders, including a Māori artist. This partnership was crucial in integrating local cultural elements into the playground’s design, ensuring the final product was unique and resonant with the community’s identity. Bringing names into the surface design, tying the local story with the land and sea, all aligned with local heritage.

Design Process

Concept Development

Our iterative design process involved multiple revisions to align with the council’s vision and the artist’s creative input. This involved incorporating themes such as water elements, native flora and fauna, and imaginative play features.

Final Design

The approved design was a great blend of safety, creativity, and cultural significance, tailored to cater to children under 5 to 10 years old and simultaneously accommodate multiple families.

Implementation and Features

Safety and Play Elements

The playground featured a ‘Pour n Play’ surface with artistic designs, varied play items like musical instruments, sensory spaces, a ground trampoline, and unstructured play elements.

Cultural and Natural Integration

 Reflecting local heritage, the design included Māori art, water themes representing the nearby Waikanae River, and representations of native trees and birds.

A pocket of relaxation

 The layout included seating, allowing parents to supervise their children comfortably. Creating a breathing space in the area.

Outcome and Impact

The upgraded Mahara Place playground has become a vibrant and safe recreational space in Waikanae’s urban landscape. It offers a unique blend of imaginative play, cultural education, and communal interaction, serving as the area’s ‘pocket of happiness’.

Community Benefits:

  • Enhanced Safety: A secure and stimulating environment for children.
  • Cultural Engagement: Promotes local heritage and environmental awareness.
  • Social Hub: Acts as a gathering spot, strengthening community bonds.

The Mahara Place project showcases our commitment to delivering playgrounds that are not just functional but are deeply embedded in the local community. We are creating spaces that locals can feel connected to.

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