Timaru District Library has transformed their courtyard into a destination play space for all their little visitors.
With its own children’s library space, Timaru Library is a local, well-loved community space. In 2022 their children’s services expanded to include a vibrant play area that has developed into a destination point to get kids excited about visiting the library. Youth Services team leader, Anita Dowson, worked closely with NumatREC to bring this project to life, adding something truly special to the local library.
Timaru District Council has collaborated with NumatREC on a number of playground projects. After Anita and her team saw the playground at Margaret Mahy Playground in Christchurch they were inspired to use of the same Pour’n’Play wet pour rubber surface in their project at the Timaru Library.
The pre-existing courtyard area was original from when the library was built. Surfaced with hard tiles that were not the most comfortable or safe for a play surface. The underutilised space had a lot of potential to become a welcoming and playful space for children and families to visit and enjoy.
The team at NumatREC were given the freedom to conceptualise a surface design, fitting the library’s community, their needs, and its environment. After the initial site visit, a design was created to reflect the seaside in a playful way, using bright colours to tie in with the existing art wall and equipment. The wet pour rubber surface created a soft and warm atmosphere in the play area with pops of colour and mounds to engage the children visiting the space. A ramp was also added to the entrance of the space, replacing the step entry from inside the library, making access to the space easier and safer for all visitors.
NumatREC project managed the small development from start to finish, including the installation of the navigator piece of equipment. This gave the team at the library the ability to hand the project over and focus on their day-to-day without interruption.
The now-finished space has truly become a destination play area for the local community. What used to be a dead area, is now the highlight of many children’s visits to the library.
“It’s become such a better-used part of our library now. Kids love coming here. They are drawn to it. Parents are thrilled.”