Playgrounds and parks are an essential element in bringing new life to a formerly heavy maritime industrial site like Wynyard Quarter. And as with any area where children are encouraged to climb about and enjoy themselves, ensuring safety at the Linear Park’s new ‘tank’ structures was an important factor for the designers, LandLAB.
A play tank is a round structure with slide exits on two levels and carved timber fins that reference the Matariki lunar calendar.
Ronstan Tensile Architecture supplied and installed the safety barrier and fall protection wire mesh to the inside of the tank, to ensure children are not able to inadvertently exit from upper levels in any way except via the slides.
A new product, Carl Stahl’s Coloured X-Tend Mesh was used. The striking red mesh was procured from the German manufacturer in the form of three panels of pre-fabricated material comprising 316 stainless steel wire and stainless steel ferrules.
Ronstan coordinated with the play tank construction contractor, Hawkins Infrastructure, to install the mesh before the tank’s two upper floors and roof were completed. This was somewhat of a challenge, requiring the installation of temporary floors and ladders to upper levels during the installation process.
The mesh diamonds in the panels are oriented vertically, which allows the mesh to join back on itself without any noticeable join lines, and the roof panel was given additional shaping on-site to match the oblique round profile.
The design of the mesh ensures that small fingers and toes cannot be snagged or caught, and there are no sharp edges. The X-Tend mesh is also a tensioned product, ensuring the barrier is resistant to distortion or stretching. Given the creative ways children will find to use a space, this is a critical feature!
The quality of the stainless steel also ensures the safety wire mesh will withstand the corrosive nature of the harbour-side winds and weather and remain fit for purpose for years to come.