Windsor Reserve: Built in 1870 and still in use today, Aucklands Waitamata Harbour is proud to boast the oldest wooden lighthouse in New Zealand.

Windsor reserve playground

The unique lighthouse was the inspiration for the bespoke playspace we opened in 2020.

The Concept

Windsor Reserve in the vibrant seaside village of Devonport in Auckland.

Engaged by Auckland Council to provide conceptual plans for the new playspace, WSP/OPUS quickly focused in on the surrounding natural seascape and Bean Rock Lighthouse. Bean Rock features one of Auckland’s Category One registered Lighthouses registered under the Historic Places Act. With delivery of the brief focusing on creating a scaled down version of the lighthouse standing at 8m tall.

We were invited to Tender our customized design for this playspace, with the concept finalized,. Working together with our French partner Proludic and under a tight seven-day deadline, we tailored the lighthouse to match the specifications. With a specific colour pallet we were able to work with Proludic in order to ensure the Lighthouse would be delivered exactly as required by the architect. Three weeks after submission, the hard work had paid off and we had won the job!

The Design

Taking three months to finalise the design and a further four months to manufacture, the Bean Rock Lighthouse was then shipped from France ready for install. Within the lighthouse, the ground level has a kinetic winding system, offering sound and educational play. Winding the lever produces sounds of the natural seascape; seagulls, fog horns and waves. The first storey is accessible by either vertical ladders or the large cargo net.

In the first storey, a 5m wide octagonal platform surface is made from non-slip HPL. The balustrading features a woven stainless-steel mesh to provide good lines of sight for parents watching on, as well as the added security against falling for children. In the centre of the first storey features six polyester rope floors offering a different textural play experience for children.  This platform has the bulk of activities, the most popular being the double width stainless steel slide.

Two ropes tunnels, made from 16mm reinforced cable covered in polyester, provide access from the first to the second storey. Up the second storey, children are visible though the red acrylic panels. Inside they can wind the kinetic lever to ‘light’ the lighthouse beacon. There are also talk tubes to connect the different levels of play so Mum and Dad can be involved with play too!

Team Work

Opus then, through design, drew further on the concept of the nautical theme and carried this into the wider playspace. We included elements to reflect the natural seascape. We selected equipment for the playspace that not only covered a wide range of ages and abilities. Features of the wider playspace include in-ground trampolines, springers, a carousel, sandplay, a large offering of swings and endless balance obstacles.

Greenscene NZ oversaw the placement and installation of all items ensuring delivery of the project would be to specification. Play surfacing was used to provide further play opportunities for users creating rock mounds and tide pools that will fill with water on a king tide.

The overall transformation of Windsor Reserve has turned the grizzled neighbourhood park into a true community asset and destination playspace.

Many thanks to the following people who worked on this project:

Contact us today to inquire about your bespoke playground.