Client: Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality: Environmental Development: Metro Parks Division Landscape Architects: Outer Space Planning & Design Budget: +- R16 million.
Landscape Architect’s Journal: Palm Ridge Regional Park O
uter Space Landscape Architects was appointed in 2017 to prepare the sketch plan and construction detail drawings whilst managing the implementation thereof into Palm Ridge Regional Park. Palm Ridge lies to the south of Ekurhuleni near the Palm Ridge court, in a rapidly developing area. Whilst the urban area is developing there are no formal parks in the area, which created an opportunity for outdoor spaces to be integrated into the developing area and a community park to be established. It is a low socioeconomic community with an evidently high unemployment rate. The site is approximately 8.2 ha and consists of undulating southeast slopes with a pond in the old quarry site. There are no major geological challenges. The Brief The brief was to develop a high calibre regional park similar to Spruitview Park, one of Ekurhuleni’s flagship regional parks.
Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2018
The emphasis is on providing a mixed activity venue that will allow the park to host events as well as offer a variety of other recreational facilities simultaneously. Features to be included are: • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Amphitheatre Ablutions Caretakers house Active recreation (walking, fitness, gym trim areas;) Play (play equipment and climbing wall) Skateboard park Passive recreation Picnic & braai facilities Gazebo/lapa; Footpaths. Street furniture. Tree and grass planting Irrigation
Design Communicating with and incorporating the community’s feedback was an important component of the design process.
The visual narrative integrated elements of the African culture such as Ndebele or Mali patterns and colours. These patterns were extended to the shapes of outdoor elements such as the geometrically splayed amphitheatre as well as the gazebo which references corbelled houses of early pioneers or the traditional Zulu Beehive structures. Our design approach was also informed by the identification and utilization of existing activities, programme and site usage. Based on our experience that the inclusion of existing patterns of movement and activity amplifies user respect for the facility and reduces the incidence of vandalism. We drew on existing movement patterns in developing the new circulation system. The park is also fenced but not gated as this often results in vandalism, particularly of the boundary fence. The nature of undulating surfaces is one of landscape architecture’s major challenges and it is essential to communicate how the topography is to be manipulated to integrate it with the proposed design. It is equally