Cantonment Hill is a significant gateway to the Fremantle Central Business District. Its scale, mass, form, textures and colours provide a unique entrance in comparison to other local government authorities. Views from within the site are exceptional, providing panoramic views of the harbour, Fremantle and river environment. The vantage point provided by Cantonment Hill is similar to other sites in the City of Fremantle such as Monument Hill, Cypress Hill and Clontarf Hill which are all high points of a limestone ridge which runs parallel to the coast. This significant topographic location has been used over a number of centuries and across diverse cultures for communication.
Fremantle is recognised as a people-centric city which is embodied in the range of festivals, community organisation and community based programs that prevail in the City. The involvement and presence of the community on Cantonment Hill will reinforce this important value of the City.
The landscape concept plan for Cantonment Hill has various layers of complexity and will provide a wide range of amenities to activate the site over a number of stages. The design solutions largely focus on activating the northern section of the site, known as the Oval and Naval Store, as these two sites are the most visible and accessible by the public. As landscape architects we strongly believe in developing this area of the site first, as it will provide the momentum for acquiring the additional funding and support the activation of the Signal Station.
The junior playground has been designed to embrace the natural elements of the site to create an environment full of fun activities that promote education and imagination for all ages, but particularly cater to children under 8. The geological reference has been articulated through an abstracted concrete stepper system with planting beds and is connected by salvaged logs and balance beams. This area of the playground merges with the northern edge of the playground providing a selection of off-the-shelf fort style equipment constructed of natural materials to retain the nature based theme of the playspace. The senior playground has been designed to reflect the historical land uses of Cantonment Hill through materials, forms and experiences. The site is dominated by the presence of the Signal Station and its iconic steel roof structure. The design of the playground abstracts this form in the skate friendly ground plane patterns and the installation of two space frame nets to create lofty heights for children to view the river. The site has a strong communications theme for Aboriginal people and Europeans, this has been expressed through mirrors at key locations to reflect light across the site as a form of communication. Interspersed throughout the senior playground are seating nodes to allow the older children to linger and communicate. The playground spaces are complemented by additional amenity in the form of picnic facilities and drink fountains and a large kick about turf area.
Key Project Outcomes
- Delivery of a design solution that caters to the various needs of how the end user interacts with the environment.
- Retention of existing mature trees and geological site characteristics.
- Interpretive elements and environmental education principles through signage and play apparatus.
- A design that is well connected to the broader Fremantle context.
- Stage 1 including playground and kick about space completed in October 2017.
Environmental Design | Project Design & Administration | Parks & Playground Design | Placemaking | Community Consultation | Culture & Heritage