Riverland Special School

Project Details

Thomson Rossi

50A Burgess Drive, Berri 5343 South Australia

Thomson Rossi


Sarah Long - Longshot Photography

Project Overview

Located in Berri but serving the wider Riverland region, the new Riverland Special School is a R-12+ school catering for 63 students from 5 to 21 years of age. Taking the advantage of development on a new greenfield site, the school offers a compact plan of highly flexible spaces supported by extensive shared amenities.

Supported by a leadership group with a firm view that children with intellectual and physical disabilities are strongly influenced by their care and environment, Riverland Special School presents a public building with a strong visual theme of joy and enthusiasm. This aesthetic presentation is matched by learning spaces that are efficiently and carefully planned to minimise travel distances, bring amenities at hand and create an unprecedented variety of outdoor spaces. A strong feature of the site is the flow between internal and external learning spaces within a network of visually stimulating and highly tactile landscaped grounds, all adding to the joy of students attending a new facility served by dedicated, caring staff.

In the pursuit of a total learning environment, the new school places a strong emphasis on linkages to external covered areas which offer generous overhangs in response to the extremely hot summer months. The central ‘playway’ was an opportunity gained beyond the brief by exploiting the shared space created by splitting the GLA wings into two separate entities. Linkages to this central space, pus withdrawal spaces on the perimeter and to the standalone sports COLA beyond provide staff and students with extensive options to explore the highly tactile and visually intricate landscaped grounds.

“Found it difficult to convey in words what I feel every day when I come to school. As I have said before, what you have designed and overseen the construction of for our school community is truly wonderful and uplifting. Having trained as a secondary art teacher, I am particularly appreciative of the way the spaces are defined; straight lines, angles, colour, texture and the juxtaposition of curves in the landscape. Really a fantastic visual experience.”

Peter Andrews, Joint Principal, Riverland Special School.

This page last updated: Thursday 3 April 2014