Preston Library Forecourt Upgrade

This project has concluded. 

We have upgraded the open space, or forecourt, at the front of Preston Library. Works are now completed.

Image of completed works:


The works have included:

  • Circular seating and decking designed for sitting, lying, climbing and scooting. This will provide function and play while also providing an attractive focal point.
  • A new feature tree.
  • Realigning the path near the Library entrance to make it easier to get to the seats.
  • Topping up the gravel path for some needed maintenance and improve the look.
  • Wooden steppers can be played on and they will be low enough to be safe and still provide clear views through the forecourt.
  • Extra plants to add to the existing landscape which is a little patchy in places.

Coming in the next couple of weeks:

  • Picnic table next to the astroturf play area.

What is this project?
Upgrading the unused sandpit at the front of Preston Library is a recommendation of a recent community safety audit. So far we have installed a lighting upgrade, new street furniture, 3 murals and CCTV around the Library.

These priorities have been identified for the upgrade:

  • Beautify the place
  • Functional and useful
  • Some play elements
  • Complement the existing Library design and colour scheme
  • Appeal to a range of ages
  • Clear views through the forecourt so people and paths are clearly visible.


We have upgraded the open space, or forecourt, at the front of Preston Library. Works are now completed.

Image of completed works:


The works have included:

  • Circular seating and decking designed for sitting, lying, climbing and scooting. This will provide function and play while also providing an attractive focal point.
  • A new feature tree.
  • Realigning the path near the Library entrance to make it easier to get to the seats.
  • Topping up the gravel path for some needed maintenance and improve the look.
  • Wooden steppers can be played on and they will be low enough to be safe and still provide clear views through the forecourt.
  • Extra plants to add to the existing landscape which is a little patchy in places.

Coming in the next couple of weeks:

  • Picnic table next to the astroturf play area.

What is this project?
Upgrading the unused sandpit at the front of Preston Library is a recommendation of a recent community safety audit. So far we have installed a lighting upgrade, new street furniture, 3 murals and CCTV around the Library.

These priorities have been identified for the upgrade:

  • Beautify the place
  • Functional and useful
  • Some play elements
  • Complement the existing Library design and colour scheme
  • Appeal to a range of ages
  • Clear views through the forecourt so people and paths are clearly visible.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Have you put any thought for creating shelter in this rejuvenation? I was there the other morning and it hadn't quite opened yet but was raining and there was no real place to be out of the rain or sunshine in the summer.

    ahrjay asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. A shelter isn't part of the scope of this project as it would not fall within our budget or directive, but I will certianly take your query/feedback and pass it onto Darebin Libraries. 

  • Are the stepping pavers remaining they have been a tripping hazard in the past with the surrounding gravel washing away

    stephen asked 12 months ago

    This is a good question. Part of our concept design proposal is upgrading that section of path which would include leveling the pavers and the gravel. 

  • Wondering if any playground equipment can be incorporated into the design?

    rs asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    A larger piece or pieces of play equipment haven't been included for a few reasons:

    - Play equipment require a clearing underneath and around them called 'fall zones' and with the size of the spot we are working with that would have limited what we could put there and would have then also limited what else could be included in the design. 

    - We had brief which includes the priorities listed on this page which meant that we are trying to create something that will be able to offer a little something to people from a broad range of ages, that had clear lines of sight through the space, is a design that complements the existing building and landscaping, and that is attractive. We were also asked to include more seating. 

    There are play opportunities in this design including the wooden steppers and the circular seating which would be of varying heights and serve as something to sit on, but also something to clim on and walk along. Children are creative creatures - they can make a play out of almost anything. 

  • With respect to this wall? Why not simply plant trees along it. This would provide decoration, insulation and protect the environment, all in one step. Trees do require maintenance but so will a decoration, over time

    Peter1 asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question. It is a good one and it is something that we were considering when working on the concept and we agree that it could have been an attractive option for that spot. 

    Two important reasons meant we had to rule it out:That spot near the brick wall has to be maintained as a clear path to the nearby emergency exit, and also we can't plant trees too close to the building as there wouldn't be enough room for the root-base. Being south-facing it would have also been a challenge for many trees with the lack of direct sunlight. 

  • We just received this question offline and thought we would share in case it's something you might be wondering about: "Will the new seating be the right height to be able to sit and read or sit with my laptop?"

    12 months ago

    It certainly will. The circular seating will vary in height so that it is visually interesting and so toddlers can climb up easily but will include sections that are a standard height  for sitting like a regular park bench/seat. You will be able to read and tap away on your laptop comfortably.