Positioned within an evolving city precinct of Sydney/ Australia, ‘Flora Kingdom’ is a unique kids’ play-equipment art piece that forms part of the children’s play area within the Elouera Reserve.

The Reserve is surrounded by high density apartment housing and acts as recreational green space for locals, workers and visitors. The artwork, comprising of two colourful floral buds with timber deck, slide and ladder, is a unique combination of play equipment and landscape feature which allows for active play, passive play and exploration and creates a focal point in the precinct.

The artists’ response to the Council’s brief was to focus upon biodiversity and cultural diversity and the necessity to expose kids to the physical world –
This physical world becomes a microcosm in the playground. The sculptural buds are pathways and rooms, their colours bright, cheerful and reflective. In the world of the flowers, the players are transported into a Lilliputian experience where they are minute and the plants are giants.

The sculptural blooms reference local flora of the region. The petals are in stages of opening so they envelop the player into the world of flowers and yet encourage sliding and crossing games between.

The use of coloured UV resistant, shatterproof plexiglass panels exaggerates the floral colours. The plexiglass was carefully selected for its rich colour, its translucency as a passive surveillance for children on the inside and the way the material diffuses the light.

At night, through integrated lighting, the buds emit a localised glow and transform into floating jewels in a high density urban environment. They remain play zone but become focal points and place makers within the precinct.

Budget and structure required a simple and safe lighting solution which does not distract from the sculptures and play, concentrates light to the centre of the flowers and reduces spill-light and hotspots on the buds. The use of anti-slip coating and cool-touch glass as well as concealment of infrastructure and control gear within the structure ensure safety for the playing children.

Lighting was selected to be warm white and in a simple static mode to enhance the colourful panels without distraction. The connection to dimmer, PE cell and timer allows to set lighting levels and ensures limited operation between dusk and 11pm.

During day and night time, the sculpture is appropriate in its setting and adds a very unique feature to the park, creating a focus, sense of place as well as play opportunity.

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