Cockburn Splash Pad

Water rooms and surprise spouts

The Cockburn Central water park incorporates an underground pump house and state-of-the-art Gorter access hatches along with a play area composed of exposed aggregate concrete and 32 randomly sequenced ground sprays.

In August 2012 WFBD was contracted by Landcorp to build and install an innovative splash pad as part of the Cockburn Central city square redevelopment project.

The architect requested an interactive water park that engaged children through randomly sequenced ground sprays that turned on and off at irregular intervals to keep patrons guessing as to where the water would spout next.


The team at WFBD programmed the ground sprays to project arcs of water of varied heights and intensity so that as little as one ground spray – or as many as 22 – might be operating at any given time. We also created separate “rooms” of water appearing randomly through the play area, and stages where all 32 ground sprays run randomly for one second bursts.

The project presented a number of challenges, not least of which was a slope of more than 550mm across the 15m site. The random variation in flow rates across the play area required an innovative drainage design that kept the area at zero depth without allowing water to escape from the prescribed space.

The architect did not want to compromise the clean, contemporary lines of the town square’s open space, which led to the deployment of a below-ground pump room and catchment tank system with fully trafficable and accessible hatches.

The in-ground pump room presented a complex engineering challenge due to the continuation of the paving across the roof hatches, which we were able to over-come, delivering a fully interactive water park with no visual impediments in the form of pipe-work, pump-houses or other associated infrastructure.

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