The pilot scheme of Tuen Mun Park inclusive play space (Architectural Services Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department)
The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) have introduced the ﬁrst inclusive playground in Hong Kong at Tuen Mun Park with two natural elements of “water” and “sand” in the design. This playground aims at providing a well-designed environment which allows children of different ages and abilities to equally enjoy a variety of physical, sensory and social play experiences. Children can take up challenges commensurate with their ability and interact with others while enjoying themselves in this playful environment.
COMMUNITY DESIGN AND USER-ORIENTED APPROACH
To respond to the demand for inclusive play spaces, ArchSD and LCSD swiftly implemented the winning schemes of the Inclusive Play Space Design Ideas Competition. Only a month after the competition, ArchSD had already completed the master layout plan and worked closely with LCSD on this project through exchange of ideas and inter-departmental design workshops.
ArchSD and LCSD believe that the playground should be user-oriented. Stakeholders of various sectors were invited to join a series of focus group workshops and potential users’ views were collected. School children from Tuen Mun were invited to contribute ideas on the design of the sensory walls and the floor pattern of the water play area. The amazingly creative ideas of the children were gathered and seamlessly incorporated in the final design. The Tuen Mun District Council was also consulted and a swing area with feature swings were introduced to address the requests of the local community.
COLLABORATE CLOSELY TO CATER TO DIFFERENT NEEDS
To strike a balance between safety, enjoyment and inclusiveness, ArchSD and LCSD adopted an innovative approach to the design and management of the playground. Through collaborative team meetings and training workshops throughout the design and construction stages, the two departments discussed the management and maintenance arrangement of the playground, and all front-line staff were familiar with the inclusive design concept as well as the maintenance standard of the play equipment. ArchSD also customised suitable tools and accessories to facilitate the safe and effective work of LCSD’s team.
Besides, ArchSD and LCSD had invited school children and professional bodies to join the experiencing workshops and trial play sessions, which not only promoted the project but also served as trial runs. Both departments could also observe the usage, survey users’ opinions, and conduct evaluation for the continuous improvement of the playground facilities and management.
SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT AND SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION
The playground has been very popular and well received by the public, with extensive media coverage and shares on social media platforms. The concept of inclusive play has been successfully promoted in Hong Kong through this pilot project. It has won Gold Award 2018 presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, the Special Architectural Award – Inclusive Design presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, and the Annual Design Award presented by ArchSD, and has gained recognition from various government departments as well as committees on children and barrier-free affairs. Frequent site visits to the Park were held to share the experience gained.
(The video is provided by Development Bureau)
(For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)