The brief was to develop a landscape master plan for St Brendan’s main school courtyard space, all connecting spaces and internal atrium spaces. With an existing expansive asphaltic courtyard space bound by a raised playground space, the master plan sought to soften and divide the central space. This was to provide a series of flexible smaller spaces that allows for ‘whole school’ assemblies, external learning opportunities for various-sized groups, a passive/reflection space and a junior playspace (prep to grade 2) that eliminates sports equipment-based games.
With extensive school, staff and school community consultation undertaken, the master plan developed meets all criteria outlined within the project brief.
Careful consideration was given to creating a landscape that allows for a range of sensory and aesthetic experiences that support school programs and meet maintenance requirements.
A school community ‘hub’ area allows for large-group use in an aesthetically pleasing space that reflects the school’s location and sense of community. Larger soft artificial turf mounds surround the central ‘hub’ and divide the large expanse into a series of smaller spaces that are well connected and provide continued visual access.
A junior playspace, based on smaller, artificial turf mounds of varied heights, combined with textured paving surfaces, provides passive and play opportunities while allowing courtyard spaces flexible in size to accommodate different groups.
A stage platform offers impromptu and formal theatrical/presentation opportunities as well as ensuring use as a smaller passive and/or external learning space.
Communal eating areas accommodate both school assemblies and functions as well as daily use for external learning and passive social interactions.
Smaller courtyard/external learning spaces have been provided for, adjacent to the school’s Learning Enrichment and Resource facilities, and continue to a less physically accessible area for use as a passive space for reflection.
“Vast expanses of asphalt were transformed using mounds and surfacing, providing a range of subtly themed, welcoming and unique spaces that support school programs, give opportunities for informal play and allow spaces that encourage unity and strength for the school community,” says Jennifer.
Completion date: February 2011
Location: Shepparton, Victoria
Lead designer and firm: Jennifer Stone of Etch Architectural Solutions Pty Ltd
Construction firm: Michel’s Landscape, Shepparton
• Artificial turf - Aussie Turf
• Wet pour rubber - Gecko Surfacing
• Seating/amphitheatre - Boral 'designer masonry block'
• Planting - Most species from Plant Growers Australia (PGA), Bushland Flora nursery and Fleming’s Nurseries
ETCH Architectural Solutions Pty Ltd
Suite 2, Level 1, 46 New Street, Ringwood Vic 3134
PO Box 2138, North Ringwood Vic 3134
Ph: 03 9876 8066
Fax: 03 9879 8066
Mobile: 0406 464 727