Landscape Architecture practice Arcadia has been rewarded for its efforts in creating the Sales Ring playground for CBUS Property, winning gold at the 2021 Sydney Design Awards in the Landscape Design category.

The playground is part of the new Inglis Park, set in the heart of Randwick. The playground has been designed for children of all ages, while referencing the rich cultural heritage of the Newmarket site throughout. Formerly the sales ring for thoroughbred horses, the original ring sits beneath a 130-year-old Moreton Bay fig tree. The practice looked to repurpose the ‘bones’ of the original sales ring, using the framework to create a suspended climbing and play structure and focal point of the park. 

Arcadia was also involved in the design of the Newmarket Dining precinct, masterplanned by Bates Smart, which took home silver in the Landscape Design category. The practice aimed to visually and physically connect people with the history of the site, similar to the work conducted at Sales Ring playground. 

Arcadia Founding Principal, Alex Longley, says the practice is honoured to have received two awards in the one category within its home city.

“We are so proud that The Sales Ring Playground has won gold and Newmarket Dining has won silver in the Sydney Design Awards Landscape Design category,” he says. 

arcadia sales ring park

“Cbus Property had the vision to create a new integrated neighbourhood precinct for Randwick, allocating 30 percent of the site to public open space. By allowing Bates Smart and Arcadia to draw upon the rich history of the Newmarket site throughout the masterplan and design process, we have been able to create a vibrant local centre where Randwick’s past thoughtfully stitches into its present so that it feels embedded in the local community.”

Arcadia, along with wayfinding and signage company Brand Culture conducted an extensive amount of research which has resulted in a number of public artworks and interpretive play elements in the playground. The ‘auctioneers box’ caters for toddlers, while the ropes and slides are even appealing to adolescents and adults.

Intrinsically connected to the Newmarket Dining precinct, the playground gives visitors the ability to either bring their own food or support local retailers. Visitors also have a number of seating options to choose from when supervising their children including tiered seating within the framework of the playground, timber decking, dedicated children's benches and tables for parties, seating under the fig tree and adjacent outdoor dining seating with polished concrete tabletops and timber benches.

arcadia sales ring park

In terms of sustainability, the original climbing structure is peeled back, leaving the structural pylons and roof supports to suspend the play elements off the ground. Historic sandstone salvaged from the original kerb and guttering of Young Street, recycled brick paving and salvaged timber from the stables have been incorporated into the playground design. The playground harks back to its horse auction days through the implementation of tessellated horseshoe super graphic in the softfall and an audio recording of a horse auction, recorded by the team at the last horse sale to occur on the Newmarket site, that has been used in an interactive auction box play element.

Throughout the design process Arcadia communicated with stakeholders including neighbouring residents, the adjacent primary and secondary public schools, Randwick Community Garden, the previous owners and the general horse racing community. For more information on the project, click here