Sunshine Coast Showcase Tour

Published: Wednesday 15 July 2020

The LEA Qld Chapter enjoyed the last Friday (or weekend for some) of the “winter” School Holidays on the Sunshine Coast.   This was the perfect mix of mental relief and coming together we all needed, after the lifting of some Covid restrictions. On top of that, we stepped away from our screens and visited some exemplary learning environments.  Congratulations to Caloundra Christian College and Pacific Lutheran College for their fantastic showcase of collaborative, flexible and student centred indoor and outdoor learning spaces. 

Both projects received LEA awards in the last year for GreenEdge Design. The Early Learning Centre External Learning Area at Pacific Lutheran College won the Landscaping/Outdoor Learning Area Award at the 2019 LEA Queensland Chapter Awards, and the Primary School Outdoor Spaces at Caloundra Christian College won the Landscaping/Outdoor Learning Area Award at the 2020 LEA Regional Awards. It was great to have the opportunity to visit these award-winning projects in person.

The Sunshine Coast Showcase started at the multi-award winning Primary Years Building at Caloundra Christian College.  Here we heard from all sponsors who had been involved in the success of this project, as well as the design team including the College, McLellan Bush Architects and GreenEdge Design. The design team were harmonious in respecting childhood and their quest and delivery for creating learning spaces for the next generation, including spaces for collaboration, community, and play. Attention to access, light, acoustics, colour, enclosure, and connections interplayed to make memorable internal learning areas.  Natural materials, planting, texture, engagement, and risk taking were all key factors in the design of the outdoor learning areas. The project showed a meticulous approach to research, collaboration, and passion for child centred spaces.

At Pacific Lutheran College we enjoyed experiencing the clear planning the College has implemented in the school’s growth for 20 years.  The strategic partnership between Pacific Lutheran College, Bickerton Masters Architecture and GreenEdge Design has resulted in generous outdoor meeting and movement areas, for incidental connection and community, alongside well researched and delivered internal flexible learning spaces.  We visited the College’s Early Learning play area where we were introduced by the College staff and landscape architect.  We experienced a thoughtfully designed child centred space complete with natural materials and forms to create learning environments for the individuals.  The visitors also enjoyed recently completed administration areas, flexible general learning areas and the College’s new resource centre including spaces for VR, Media, STEM and a Senior hub.  Both projects showcased the Principal’s passion and research in delivering learning spaces for students to thrive.

Natalie Bush, Director & Architect, McLellan Bush Architects and Matt Moran, Principal, Bickerton Masters

Images courtesy of Amanda Cheetham