FACILITY RESEARCH: SPLASH PAD Examples

In this section of my research, I have found existing examples of splash pad designs to examine their features. This includes looking at their surfaces, types of fountains or ways of engaging play and safety purposes like lighting. I have also included some ideas around a water sculpture feature…which we may or may not include but it is worth a look.

Splash Pad Examples:

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These examples of splash parks/pads demonstrate many uses of small and large fountains, sculptural structures for running through or interacting with by standing near or under and other modes of play like slides and water walls. Some contain a playground on top of the site, however in our proposal we wish to keep any playground activity separate from the splash pad to create more areas of play and avoid unnecessary health and safety issues.

Some pads have a patterned flooring design, while others don’t, instead they consist of bright, attractive colours using poured-in-place rubber flooring. In my own designs, I will have to consider the use of colour, whether to include any patterning on the floor and the surface shape of the pad area.  Another factor is the layout of play areas for kindergarten and primary-aged children (3-4, 5-7, 8-10).

‘Special feature’ Examples:

These two images of animal fountain features have inspired me to create a similar concept for the kindergarten section of my splash pad design. They encourage a form of engaging the imagination as well as keep the children cooled off. Their structures are small enough to climb on without falling too far to cause any harmful injury. They can be covered with the poured-in-place stuff for protection.

I am leaning toward using paua shell and other creatures or shells found in New Zealand rock pools such as crabs to fulfil this idea. These ideas are shown in my conceptual drawings over in my porfolio (link this page here) section.

I thought that the idea for a water wall would be a great way to incorporate an art feature as well as a mode of play into the splash pad. The wall would have to be relatively small and made of a see-through material such as a hard Perspex plastic so that child visibility would still be possible for safety reasons. The running water from the provides a relaxing feature for children or adults to sit under to be cooled off. Parents could sit nearby and enjoy the relaxing, visual appeal of the wall. The idea of flowing water ties in with notions of peace and nature.

The first image on the left is of children exploring a maze-like water stream in the ground. This image had me thinking of how to create a gutter that allows water to flow around it in a tranquil manner. Perhaps this could also serve as a drainage way that recycles water around the splash pad.

I also explored the notion of including a sculptural water feature into the pad for a more personalised aesthetic that adults could enjoy while looking after their children. However, after including this into my original design as seen in my portfolio section, I feel that this would take away from the water wall feature as well as create something that is somewhat unnessary.  A water feature may serve as a good idea away from the splash pad, perhaps across the road on another site, to continue the theme/flow of water around Maraenui.

Lighting Examples:

These images depict fountains of various heights exhibiting the use of LED lighting built into their surface. This is an easy way of creating a safety aspect for night (lighting up the area so people are aware and do not slip) as well as a neat night time feature.

This image above is of many coloured LED pads that when stood upon, turn a new colour! This could be a great way of making something fun for night use, however, splash pads are meant to be used in the light and heat of the day; night use is not recommended and children could get sick playing in the colder tempertatures of night. Although this looks cool, I think it is wiser to design lighting for safety only and stick to designing for day use.

I found these images below of site drawings to help me begin generating my own splash pad designs.

Image Reference list:

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