_WATERWAY POINT – HAPPY PARK
© Playpoint(Singapore) Pte Ltd
Waterway point is a waterfront residential area and shopping mall in the ‘Punggol New Town’ district of Singapore. It is the first mall in Singapore to be integrated with a town square and a visitors’ center. In 2012, developer Frasers Centerpoint Limited issued a tender for the design and construction of a playground on the balcony of this new shopping mall. The balcony has a beautiful panoramic view of the adjacent park, which is connected by a river to the Straits of Johor that border Malaysia. The assignment was won by Playpoint with the design for a wet and dry playground by Carve.
Carve has been responsible for all design and engineering. Playpoint has been responsible for local project management, construction and installation on site.
Public life in Singapore is organized differently than in Europe. Because of the humid climate and strong UV radiation, people prefer to be in a shady and sheltered place. For this reason indoor (shopping) centers are very popular for leisure activities. That is why large lily-shaped play trees that provide shade are central to the design of this playground. The playground is the first attraction in Singapore to integrate lights to a wet and dry playground, creating a fun and playable sculpture and enabling playing after sunset when it is cooler outside. Visitors named it ‘Happy-Park’.
The Lilies not only provide shade but some are also climbing frames or stairs to a tunnel slide. The trees are transparent tube structures, with a core that can be entered. The calyx of the lily trees is covered with a white textile, which offers shade to the playing children. The colour of the Lily’s changes from green at the bottom to white at the top, like a real lily flower. The eye-catching structures are also being used as signature elements in other parts of the shopping mall. The orange tubes – the ‘roots’ – contain and connect different play elements, partly covered with netting they become climbers. Over the netting and through the tubes, children can access slides which are integrated with the trunk of the lily trees. All canopies are brightly lit at night, with LEDs also illuminating the water. The Lily structures were built in the Netherlands and then shipped in parts to Singapore by sea container.
The main play area consists of a dry play and a wet play area. In Singapore people are not afraid of getting wet while playing, not only the children but also their parents are very fond of water play areas. They come to the playground with their whole family and bring their swim wear. It is a Singaporean culture to bring the entire family to the shopping center to visit the water playground, as if it were a pool in a public park. It is for this reason that there are also changing cabins at the playground.
The dry play area is designed as a terraced landscape and offers children a soft play surface, which parents and caretakers can also use as seating. In the wet area a river loop flows around islands. Children can add obstacles to the river and creatively change its water flow. Water lily stepping stones cover the surface of a shallow lake, not deeper than 20 to 30 cm. Some of the waterlily stepping stones are jumping elements, spraying the water to all sides!
The Happy Park @ Waterway Point has been awarded the Singapore Good Design Award 2018.
Playpoint Pte Singapore