Site visit to Christies Beach

Published: Monday 2 September 2013

About 30 members travelled down south to the seaside suburb of Christies Beach, SA to inspect two very interesting projects -an environmental learning centre at the high school and an early learning centre integrated with the local primary school. Each provided a unique approach to planning, design and ongoing use.

The Environmental Learning Centre at Christies Beach High School
This BER project has a unique design to reflect the school’s strong interest in environmental learning. It was built as a “teaching tool” and aims to influence behaviour by demonstrating the positive impact of good environmental design. All learning spaces have an environmental feature – including passive design from north facing windows, under-slab heating, rammed earth walls, good insulation and shading, troube walls, and earth tubes each contributing stable temperature and natural materials including casual indoors and outdoor furniture to give greater flexibility and easy access.

It also has an garden featuring Aboriginal plants, an orchard and a vegetable garden which is used by the students and staff.

For further information:

“Taikurrandi” the Christies Beach Early Learning Centre
The design features of this innovative centre arise from strong connections and detailed consultation with the local community, especially the Aboriginal and Torres Island parents, and links to the National Curriculum.

It includes on-site integrated services linking early learning with the primary school which is on the same site. It has a wide range of places to work and play . As well as the learning areas and fixed play equipment it includes sand and water play , and a fountain, to celebrate and reflect the Dreaming Story. Textures, colours, natural light and art features also contribute to this unique centre for 56 children.

Ann Gorey

CEFPI Life Member - SA