Bradbury Park Playscape | Alcorn Middleton

Bradbury Park Playscape | Alcorn Middleton | Photographer: Christopher Frederick Jones

2024 National Architecture Awards Program

Bradbury Park Playscape | Alcorn Middleton

Traditional Land Owners
Turrbal and Jagera/Yuggera




EmAGN Project Award
Public Architecture
Urban Design
Epoca Constructions
Project summary

Nestled in Brisbane’s Northern Suburbs, Bradbury Park’s Playscape emerges as a vibrant testament to the role of public architecture in fostering inclusivity and invigorating community life with cultural, artistic, and interactive aspects.

Through the concept’s theme of ‘Byways and Hollows’, byways usher visitors into a world of discovery, with hidden alcoves and dynamic structures that mirror the wild’s untamed paths.

Each turn of the playscape’s design unfolds a story, transforming ‘hollows’ into retreats that reflect the homes of lorikeets, alive with lashes of vibrant hues and spirit.

The architectural prowess of the structure, intentionally situated among the ironbark sentinels, honours their grandeur and charred palette, emphasising these natural icons through both materiality and physical form, capturing the resilience and spirit of the Australian landscape.

A beacon of public architecture, this playscape redefines communal play with an innovative and striking presence, weaving artistic and cultural vibrancy into Brisbane’s inner Northern Suburbs.

Queensland Architecture Awards Accolades
Queensland Architecture Medallion (Qld)
The F D G Stanley Award for Public Architecture (Qld)
The Karl Langer Award for Urban Design (Qld)
Queensland Jury Citation

Queensland Architecture Medallion (Qld)

The Bradbury Park project stands out for its exceptional merit in designing a public space that fosters community engagement across all levels. Seamlessly integrated into the surrounding landscape, the delightful and democratic sculpture invites visitors from afar, drawing them towards a myriad of enchanting spaces. By emphasising play for all ages and abilities, this project exemplifies the transformative power of architecture in enhancing community well-being. The use of materials and intricate details cleverly evokes the adjacent flora and fauna, weaving a compelling story of Connection to Country. Extending the custom design beyond the client’s initial brief, the project incorporates self-shading elements and avoids standard playground fare. Moreover, it prioritises equitable access, ensuring that the underside of the Playscape accommodates all visitors. Additional observations highlight the architect’s commitment to exceeding expectations, applying residential architecture lessons to playground design and revealing a deep connection between community and place—a response warmly embraced by the local community.

The F D G Stanley Award for Public Architecture

The Bradbury Park Playscape is a groundbreaking project that transcends traditional playground norms, offering an original and abstract structure that inspires the imagination. The project intricately weaves narratives of Connection to Country into its styling, with materials and details evoking the surrounding flora and fauna. Going beyond the client’s initial vision, the playscape’s custom design eschews typical playground fixtures and instead features self-shading elements and a notable commitment to integrating equitable use in its design of the underside of the Playscape, which enables inclusive access. This project serves as an exemplary model for public playgrounds, highlighting the significance of creativity and inclusivity in outdoor recreational spaces.

The Karl Langer Award for Urban Design

The Bradbury Park Playscape transcends traditional playground design to offer an urban attraction of surprising magnitude and delight. It transforms the social value of existing parkland, deep in Brisbane’s suburbs, and remaps connection through the creation of a thriving, active place that is adored by community. The abstract sculptural forms feature self-shading elements and eschew typical playground fixtures for a more authentic challenge: to navigate the lofty structures with their wild array of connections. The project weaves narratives of Country into its design, with detail, material and colour evoking the surrounding flora and fauna. Going far beyond the client’s initial vision, the playscape’s infinite possibilities for play and adventure ignite curiosity and delight for young and old. This project serves as an exemplary model for equitable and inclusive play, and it highlights the value of creativity in making community spaces of exceptional quality and success.

This playscape builds on Council’s reputation for providing innovative and creative facilities for residents.

It fills a strategic need in our park network, providing residents with high-quality district park facilities in a high growth area.

This playscape has challenged the very essence of what a playground can be and sets a new benchmark for both government and private industry in the provision of innovative play for older children.

Key to its design success is the playscape’s non-prescriptive approach and integration of risk, allowing children to challenge themselves and be the masters of their own play destiny.

Project Practice Team

Joel Alcorn, Design Architect

Chloe Middleton, Project Architect

Giselle Penny, Graduate of Architecture

Luke Petersen, Graduate of Architecture

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Brisbane City Council, Client / Asset Owner

CUSP, Landscape Consultant

Bligh Tanner, Civil Consultant

Bligh Tanner, Structural Engineer

Playworks, Bespoke Play Manufacturer

Play Force, Play Safety Consultant

Webb Australia Group, Electrical Consultant

MRP, Hydraulic Consultant

Warlin Consultants, Structural Steel Detailer

Edgar Stubbersfield, Expert Timber Specialist

Connect with Alcorn Middleton
Bradbury Park Playscape | Alcorn Middleton | Photographer: Christopher Frederick Jones

This form is now closed.