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Dear {tag_recipientfirstname},

Welcome to our projects update.

We would like to invite you to browse through our recent projects. In this update we present three very different projects showcasing our broad range of interests.

July 2017

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The forecourt space is an outdoor extension of the Library; a meeting place where people can hold small events or simply take a book out and read. Located at the ground floor of two new residential towers, the design responds to the footprint of the towers that resemble two boats sailing together. “We wanted something organic, amoebic and they loved it from the beginning” says Jana.

The “original concept was to include a book ribbon wrapping out and around the seating pods”. This concept developed into a ribbon of LED lights set underneath the seating that carries this poetic through the forecourt. The idea is to illuminate knowledge and freedom.

During construction, we worked closely with the builder to achieve best outcomes. This simple design has complex detailing as well as a yin yang energy to it. This is seen in the contrast between the spaces, forms and materials of the two main seating pods. People can now relax against the planters, under the striking Kentia palms, in a contained and yet public space.


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This regional scale, retrofitted playspace is located on the shores of Kogarah Bay. The upgrade successfully combines the essential objectives of safety and comfort, whilst providing creative challenges. There is a sense of wonder here for children of a broad range of ages and abilities. Into the footprint of the existing playground, new custom-made structures were inserted that combine beautifully crafted, natural materials that contrast with select best, commercial play elements.

In all our playground projects, Umbaco likes to come up with ideas that are site specific and unique to each project. The Micro Bat is “local to Carss Park Bushland and has the strongest connection to the site” explains Jana. The Bat was taken as the inspiration for one of the new climbing structures and was developed with artist, Andrew Smith. Children can now enjoy climbing through a family of sculptures throughout the park.

The playspace is one where there are lots of surprises to experience along the way. There are both small and intricate parts or big, chunky and robust elements for children to explore. It shows a layering of play value on the site where simple elements can be used in multiple ways. The playspace is much loved by the community and is packed on the weekend.


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From a being an unusable, very steep, and overgrown site this park has been transformed into a restful place. Here people can now enjoy lunch away from the sounds of traffic on the western side of the Pacific Highway in Chatswood, and looking out to the Blue Mountains. The main elements to the low-cost design are seating, a mid-level embankment and small play area at the bottom of the hill.

The setting commemorates the poem, Five Bells, by Australian, Kenneth Slessor. The poem was the one that resonated with Jana as being the most fitting for the site. There are five bells gently rocking and singing in the wind, that step down the central flight of steps. These very simple and strong corten steel elements, were designed in coordination with the sculptor, Roger Apte, and add to the peaceful character of the park.



The three new projects showcase our delight in creating responses to briefs that satisfy clients, users and the environment in equal measure. All of them extract their narratives from the site, its’ characteristics or history and develop each one into very specific places with great attention to detail.

For children, especially, our objective is in maximising the play value of a site. Jana describes how “it is about universal accessibility and comfort; what are children looking for and how to maximize their return and keep them engaged.

We question how each place is going to be used, how people are going to rest and watch the children, being very careful about what we place and where” she adds.

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