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Inventive playscape wows judges


A sensitive response to a multi-faceted site won Canopy NZ the Landscape Design award at the Landscapes of Distinction awards night


Nelson-based Canopy NZ’s creation for Te Raekura Redcliffs School carefully considered the physical and cultural layers of the site to create an eye-catching, functional and fun environment for children.

Built with an eye on future floods, Canopy NZ included an extensive area of raised and playfully arranged decking to facilitate easy movement between buildings, and added vegetated swales to help direct and manage surface water.

Unexpected, inventive and diverse playscapes were installed to present children with plenty of opportunities to engage with the site, while a small orchard was planted with edible plants to help students make direct connection with a curriculum that foregrounds sustainability and deepens the educational experience.


“The planting is well-selected and supports the ecological health of the wider landscape,” said the judges.

“This design shows what can be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive engagement with the physical, historical and cultural context of a site. Creativity and imagination are enriched and the design encourages children to connect with topography, soil, water, plants and other organisms and so enhance their understanding of practices necessary for their future as managers of the planet.”

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