Education & Community

Construction Commences on Olympic Village Primary School

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Construction has begun on the Olympic Village Primary School in Heidelberg West, close to Melbourne CBD, after receiving confirmation that funding was allocated in the 2018 state budget for the full realisation of their masterplan. This is incredibly exciting for the community who thought the school was going to close entirely.

The local community, which has a rich history as the location of the athletes’ village for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, has become highly disadvantaged since then which is reflected in the school’s enrolment figures which currently stand at 86 students. The school’s facilities have fallen below an acceptable standard in recent years and were assessed by Guymer Bailey Architects to help build the case for the replacement of the school.

With 45% of students coming from non-English speaking backgrounds, 20% of students being Koorie and 10% eligible for additional funding through the Program for Students with Disabilities, social justice was a central theme for this project. It was a strong motivation of Olympic Village Primary School to ensure that those who are the most disadvantaged at home, are not disadvantaged at school.

Building a community for learning

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The other present theme that influenced the design of the masterplan was the desire to create a ‘community for learning’. The school is to become a place that encourages students to strive academically and socially. A place where all, no matter their differences, come together to collaborate and learn. Much like the ethos of the Olympics, people coming together and striving to be better. In the architectural language of the project, this transfers into the idea of a village.

Classrooms, the multi-purpose hall, entrance foyer and staff lounge are represented as individual homes to create a sense of place and foster a feeling of security and warmth. These homes open onto internal covered streets that are shared spaces in the design and promote social interaction and collaboration while also allowing for discreet spaces to sit and retreat. These discreet spaces also facilitate the equity and remediation programs for ‘at risk’ students within the school structure.

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The educational village is arranged around a village green or village heart which all buildings open onto, creating a focal point and providing legibility to the layout. The scale of the house and street emphasises the human scale, stimulating belonging and comfort within the students.

Creating flexible learning opportunities

Classrooms are clustered in groups of three around a central common space to promote shared teaching options between classes and flexible learning opportunities. All classrooms have the option to be opened up to this common breakout space, but also have doors to allow for separation if a more orderly learning environment is required for a particular class or activity.

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Each classroom also has an individual discrete outdoor learning area, which can be utilised for larger groups, smaller specialist learning or students who are experiencing frustration and need time away from the class while remaining under the supervision of their teacher.

Ensuring student safety and security

Greater safety and security for students was a key objective addressed through the design of the masterplan. New fencing and one central access point have been proposed to create a safer learning environment where all visitors are required to enter through the administration. A drive through kiss-and-drop-zone will also allow for safer management of school drop off with the new entry providing a strong visual from the street to assist with wayfinding.

To maximise toilet supervision and minimise the potential for bullying, toilets can be accessed from inside during class time and outside during breaks. Passive supervision is also maximised by placing the principal’s office, staff lounge and staff workspace on the eastern side of the building facing into the village heart.

A leading learning environment

The new school will also include a staff centre that is a single shared staff workspace designed to help staff work together in the planning, delivery, assessment and reporting of learning to support teacher development.

A multipurpose space that can be accessed from both inside and outside of school grounds will also be created for school and community use. This versatile space features a kitchen, which will house community programs like the breakfast and homework club.

And last, but certainly not least, a new library located at the centre of the classroom cluster will be built. The library provides a third break out space while also serving as the connection from the discrete classroom courtyards to the north and the village heart to the south.

There is no question that the changes will make a significant impact on the learning opportunities for students at the Olympic Village Primary School and the Heidelberg community at large. Having been involved in the design of the project we’re overjoyed to see construction commence.

Need to design an extension, redevelopment or renovation for your school or education facility? Contact us today on 07 3870 9700 (Brisbane) or 03 8547 5000 (Melbourne). You may also like to view our other education projects.

Changes in playground design

By Rob Waddell

Significant changes have been happening in playground design over the last few years due to greater recognition around the health and cognitive benefits of play, a strong desire to get children active and outside, and modifications to playground safety standards that acknowledge the benefit of graduated challenges which teach children how to manage risk.

Out of all of the changes, we have found three key trends are emerging, and these are influencing the design of playgrounds both nationally and internationally.

1. Unlocking imagination through theming

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

With the introduction of video games and tablets, there is no question that the way a child plays and interacts with the world has changed.

Twenty years ago outdoor play was a way of life for us; we would disappear for hours on end building forts, riding bikes and playing sports. But now, with so much entertainment and stimulation available indoors, greater incentive to switch from screen time to green time is needed.

This has seen a rise in playground themes to evoke the imaginations of children, allowing spaces to be interpreted and used in a number of different ways to create a unique play experience for each child.

One example of this is the Frew Park Arena Play Structure Guymer Bailey Landscape designed. Built on the grounds where the iconic Milton tennis stadium once stood in Brisbane, its theme ‘deconstruction’ honours the history of the site with play precincts that reflect stadium spaces.

The grandstand is brought to life with large precast concrete panels of varying heights and angles, and it even features a commentary box – a steel-mesh box suspended eight metres above the ground, to offer greater thrill to playground goers.

2. Getting back to nature

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With many children experiencing nature deficit disorder not being able to play in the creek, squish mud in between their fingers and toes, climb trees and get dirty in play, there is a growing demand to create this experience within the playground environment.

This is particularly important for kindy children who benefit from the sensory experience nature play can produce.

From mud pits and water play to sitting on logs around a fire pit, roasting marshmallows for story time, nature play experiences allow children to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of nature, and hopefully inspire a deep love for the outdoors.

The key to nature play is to make it authentic using as many raw materials as possible. There are many plastic replicas available, but they do not create the same experience for children. Nature play areas should also be flexible, allowing for a wide variety of activities, sensory experiences and individual play interpretations – such as logs that can be used for sitting, standing or balancing on.

3. Creating a call to adventure

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

While as children we were quite adventurous in our play, as a society in recent years we have been more cautious, preventing children from taking the same risks as we did. While these intentions are noble, in that we don’t want children hurt, what we have failed to realise is that we are preventing children from learning key life lessons through play.

Research has proven time and time again that there are significant benefits when children are exposed to risk.

Adventurous or more challenging play allows children to identify their strengths and limitations, manage risk and fear and develop courage and confidence in their abilities – all fundamental life skills that are needed into adulthood.

These findings have resulted in modifications to the Australian playground safety standards that allow playground designs to greater challenge children and expose them to managed risk, where previous standards were inhibiting their form of play.

Challenges at height including climbing walls, nets, ropes, tunnels, barriers, slopes, sliding poles, swings and flying foxes can all create greater playground challenges for children that allow them to get a better sense of risk and themselves. By being more adventurous in playground design while also keeping in mind age and ability, we can provide children with greater life skills.

Does your kindy, school or community playground need an upgrade to create more imaginative and challenging play? Talk to our specialist playground designers today on 07 3870 9700 (Brisbane) or 03 8547 5000 (Melbourne).

About the Author

Rob Waddell is the Principal Landscape Architect at Guymer Bailey Architects. With extensive experience in designing landscape architecture for the community and education sectors, Rob has a proven track record of designing award-winning outdoor areas that capture the hearts and imaginations of children and enrich the experiences of the local community. With a keen interest in exploring the relationship between natural and built environments, Rob develops high-quality design outcomes that prioritise placemaking and people-centred design that works in harmony with the natural environment.

Why sustainability is needed in schools

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

By Phil Jackson

With greater demands to decrease costs, and a desire to minimise environmental impact, improve efficiency and increase student learning and performance, schools are starting to recognise the need to become more sustainable.

But with many principals, boards and P&F committees balancing multiple needs, there is often a focus on short-term costs and savings, which can create more resistance around the long-term move towards greater sustainability.

To help you shift your perspective, I’ll explore three reasons why sustainability is needed in schools and how it can give your school and students a greater competitive edge.

1. Improve performance with greater comfort and air quality

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

While many schools install air-conditioning for the comfort of students and teachers, what most staff members and P&F committees are unaware of is that the quality of air can be dramatically affected. In air-conditioned environments more Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is present in the air, affecting the cognitive ability and learning capability of students in the classroom.

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? We put students into classrooms and exam rooms that are air-conditioned for their comfort only to create the worst possible air quality for them to perform and compete against other schools in.

The good news is that through sustainable initiatives both the comfort and air quality of classrooms can be improved. While there are times when air-conditioning must be used, there are times when air-conditioning could be minimised through the use of a more effective passive ventilation design (like using louvres) that will allow greater fresh air and breezes through the classroom.

Do measures like this make an impact, you might ask? A study done by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that examined the costs and benefits of green schools for Washington State estimated a 15% reduction in absenteeism and a 5% increase in test scores.

2. Minimise costs and reduce inefficiency

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

With air-conditioning seen as a necessity, little thought or planning can go into the ongoing cost and maintenance of systems. Energy bills can skyrocket, particularly when there is little education or incentive around minimising air-conditioning use in classrooms.

By linking both passive ventilation methods and air-conditioning to both a smart (automatically switches between passive ventilation, assisted ventilation, or air-conditioning based on settings) and manually controlled system, staff and students can become more conscious of their decision to use air-conditioning within the classroom. The installation of a CO2 monitor (Australian Geographic has a weather system that measures CO2 levels) can also be a valuable teaching tool to show the air quality of each classroom when the air-conditioning is on.

Schools can further encourage more sustainable thinking through the use of incentives, offering a reward to the class who uses air-conditioning the least throughout the term.

A holistic site approach that considers the use of shading, solar power, and LED lighting can also further reduce costs.

3. Boost student engagement with different teaching environments

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

While children thrive in routine, even their performance can be impacted by working in the same environment all of the time. By creating outdoor classroom environments, teachers and students can venture outside when the weather allows for different learning opportunities.

This not only boosts student engagement, but it also minimises costs of lighting and air-conditioning while providing greater connection to the landscape and better working conditions.

One example of the outdoor classroom idea is the Kimberley College Flexible Learning Area we designed.

Combining adaptable indoor learning spaces with flexible outdoor spaces that are large enough for full class groups, students are given many varied opportunities for interaction, performance, collaboration and connection to nature. The feedback from these outdoor classrooms and others like it have been overwhelmingly positive, with teachers and students both saying they are a pleasure to work in.

Schools that are making sustainability part of their governance are not only reaping the benefits of minimised costs and greater student engagement and performance; they are also addressing one of our greatest social challenges by empowering the next generation to be more environmentally minded.

About the Author

Phil Jackson is a Director of Guymer Bailey Architects and has a passion for sustainable design outcomes and the integration of architecture and landscape. From conception through to construction he ensures the delivery of outstanding projects and satisfied clients through open communication and enthusiasm for every project.

The importance of nature play in childcare

By Rob Waddell

There are many health benefits connected to nature play from cognitive, social and emotional development, to the building of resilience and creativity. But nature play is still not incorporated as much as it should be in childcare playground design.

If you’re yet to incorporate nature play in your childcare centre or kindy play area, here are five reasons why you should reconsider your approach.

1. Unscripted play increases imagination

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Children from a young age can experience a lot of structure to their lives, and while an element of structure and routine is needed for their happiness and wellbeing, too much structure, particularly around play, can stifle creativity.

Without being given prompts or recognisable play equipment, children are able to activate their imaginations, create stories, and be more likely to explore their environment.

At Guymer Bailey Landscape we believe in increasing the opportunities for children to enjoy more unstructured play outdoors and in nature, and were recently given the opportunity to bring this philosophy to life through the design of the new nature play space at Bellbowrie Kindy.

“In a world where children are constantly being told what to do, here was an opportunity to provide an unscripted play space that would foster imagination, creative thinking, and investigation.”
— Pam Niven, Kindergarten Teacher and Coordinator at Bellbowrie Kindy

Our team, in partnership with kindergarten teacher and coordinator, Pam Niven, and in consultation with parents and children at the Bellbowrie Kindy, created a space that consists of a number of features to encourage hours of unscripted play. These include:

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  • A natural watercourse fuelled by a water pump to allow kids to control the flow of water down the creek

  • Mudpits and digging mounds

  • Barefoot garden paths around a forest of natural totem poles

  • Log bridges, balance beams and stepping stones,

  • Scented and flowering native plants

  • Pottery garden

  • Yarning circle centred on a fire pit to introduce to children the indigenous concept of storytelling in an organic way

2. Getting dirty leads to happy exploration

Children need to be active and have the opportunity to run around and be happy playing outside. Worrying about stains and getting dirty only limits their play and can lead to guilt around activities that they find are fun and exciting.

Children who are given the time and opportunity to get dirty and explore, discover their world, and how things work. This exploration boosts their social, physical and creative skills, which can be well worth the extra washing.

3. Challenges teach resilience and risk management

“Children need the opportunity to develop their resilience through challenges”
— Pam Niven, Kindergarten Teacher and Coordinator at Bellbowrie Kindy
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The single-minded focus on injury prevention through risk elimination that the playground industry has had in recent decades, has been found to be detrimental to children by ignoring their need to learn how to manage risk themselves.

Changes to the Australian Standards last year reflected this shifting emphasis and recognised that the downsides of risks should be balanced against the very real benefits of incorporating meaningful graduated challenges for children to explore and test their capacities and limitations.

The Bellbowrie Kindy nature play space embraces this realisation, in the hope that even at the kindergarten age, we can set a course for stronger, better-equipped and more resilient future citizens.

4. Enlivening sensory experiences

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Nature play is a great way to engage all seven senses being sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, vestibular (sense of balance) and proprioception (sense of body awareness in space). This is incredibly important when you consider sensory play has been proven to support fine and gross motor skills, cognitive growth, problem-solving skills and language and social development.

The design of the Bellbowrie Kindy nature play space has created an environment that enhances and enlivens the children’s sensory experience and importantly, at the same time, provides inclusion and engagement for those experiencing sensory impairment or disability.

5. Creating environmental awareness

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“We want to develop a love of nature that will help carry them through the rest of their lives”
— Pam Niven, Kindergarten Teacher and Coordinator at Bellbowrie Kindy

Perhaps one of the most underrated benefits of nature play is that it can also develop an environmental awareness and appreciation, which can create a concept of stewardship later in life. A legacy worth leaving our children.

Could your kindy or childcare centre benefit from more nature play? Talk to our specialist playground designers today on 07 3870 9700 (Brisbane) or 03 8547 5000 (Melbourne).

About the Author

Rob Waddell is the Principal Landscape Architect at Guymer Bailey Architects. With extensive experience in designing landscape architecture for the community and education sectors, Rob has a proven track record of designing award-winning outdoor areas that capture the hearts and imaginations of children and enrich the experiences of the local community. With a keen interest in exploring the relationship between natural and built environments, Rob develops high-quality design outcomes that prioritise placemaking and people-centred design and work in harmony with the natural environment.

Designing California Lane

California Lane is an exciting new laneway precinct that has opened behind popular Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. The laneway, which is an extension of the Bakery Lane and Winn Lane developments, aptly incorporates retro elements from the nostalgic years of California.

With plans for California Lane started in 2013 by Guymer Bailey Architects, to celebrate the completion of this great new Brisbane addition we thought we would chat with Arthur Apostolos, from the family behind the Lanes, and talk about their vision and the design journey of California Lane.

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The inspiration

What was the inspiration behind the design of California Lane?

“With California Lane, we wanted to add to our existing laneways that include Bakery Lane and Winn Lane and create a laneway with its own point of difference that would blend the heritage of the existing buildings with the context and history of the laneway.

In this case, the context was that our father owned the California Café, once located at Carroll’s Corner in Brunswick Street. He took it over in 1961 and had it for 45 years. This became the inspiration behind the design and the name of the laneway.”

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The vision

What is your vision for the laneways?

“The laneways have been designed to represent the greater context of Brisbane, in that it’s a place where you can be yourself. The Valley has always been a place for everyone, rich or poor, successful or not successful, creative or not creative, the Valley has never distinguished between a type of person, and the laneways are the same.

We’re not targeting a specific demographic; anyone can go there who enjoys what’s on offer and what’s on offer is something Brisbane hasn’t had until now, a place where small independent retailers that are Brisbane unique can do business in a distinctively Queensland heritage setting.”

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The design

California Lane had quite the design evolution from where it started, how has it changed?

“California Lane was originally scheduled for construction at the same time as Bakery Lane; however, it was pushed back as Bakery Lane became quite a large project. As a result, the design naturally evolved over this time.

We moved away from the initial civic culvert and shipping container concept and settled on a traditional structure in the shape of a container to be in line with the 1960s theme. The Valley was in its heyday during the 1950’s, and 1960’s, so we wanted to borrow aspects that captured that era in colours, materials, features and finishes as well as in the tenancies that run down the lane.

The civic culverts that originally featured on one side of the laneway were stripped back to create an alfresco area for tenants, allowing customers to linger and enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of California Lane with its palm trees, pastel walls and neon signs.”

What is your favourite part of the design?

“My favourite part of the design besides the colours and fresh feel is the fact that California Lane is so narrow. Bakery Lane has a courtyard, Winn Lane is hippy and eclectic, and California Lane is a narrow laneway that connects all the way through to Ann Street, having the potential to be a thoroughfare like a traditional laneway.”

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The result

Designed to achieve the delicate balance of business and pleasure and provide a haven for pedestrian traffic, the highly anticipated laneway showcases emerging brands and trendy boutiques among exquisite cafes, bars and eateries, to create an ideal spot for dining in style.

As we’re sure you can appreciate, reading about California Lane is one thing, but experiencing it for yourself is quite another. If you live in Brisbane or are due to visit, we encourage you to take a stroll back in time and enjoy the vintage West Coast vibes and fantastic food that California Lane is soon to be known for.

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve wins 2018 AIA Award for Sustainable Architecture

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve wins 2018 Australian Institute of Architects Award for Sustainable Architecture

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Cafe (lower level), and viewing deck (upper level)

Guymer Bailey Architects was announced as the winner of the coveted 2018 Australian Institute of Architects Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Architecture, for the design of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, an iconic conservation, recreation, education and tourism asset located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

The Award, which recognises projects that excel as architecture, and also displays innovation and excellence in terms of environmental sustainability, was awarded to Guymer Bailey Architects in design collaboration with local Designer Norman Richards Design and Interiors.  The new Discovery Centre and Café was designed for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to strengthen the role the Reserve plays in the conservation and display of local flora and fauna.

The Discovery Centre, which also received a commendation in the Public Architecture category, nestles sensitively into Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve’s complex nitophyll vine forest, one of the last remaining examples of this vegetation community that once covered the Blackall Ranges. Inside, the Centre contains innovative rainforest interpretative displays and has two frontages to provide spectacular views of both the Glass House Mountains and rainforest reserve.

Outside, a long timber boardwalk loops around the building allowing scenic access and learning opportunities for visitors with informative signage featured along the way. Sensitive to the heavily protected forest, the boardwalk was threaded through the existing flora to minimise the building footprint. To further minimise disruption, plant species endemic to the area were used for additional landscaping, and most of the design materials were sourced locally.

Phil Jackson, Director and design architect of Guymer Bailey Architects on the project has this to say about the project and win.

Mary Cairncross is an incredibly important project to us, and everyone involved. With such an amazingly beautiful and well-loved site, we were conscious of the responsibility the team carried to the community to create a special building and landscape. 

The design and delivery was genuinely collaborative from start to finish, and we wish to thank all those involved. We are humbled by the recognition the project has received, particularly for sustainability, as it reinforces our commitment to responsible, sustainable design for the community.”

To view the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve project click here:

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

We are looking back on our original concept for the redevelopment of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre. 

MARY CAIRNCROSS | BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS

Elevated walkway through existing trees at Mary Cairncross (Photography: Scott Burrows)

Elevated walkway through existing trees at Mary Cairncross (Photography: Scott Burrows)

Looking for another reason to visit Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve? Why not join the Sunshine Coast chapter of Birdlife Australia for morning bird walks. The group meets at the back gate to the reserve, on alternative Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

To book tickets and to find out more visit the Sunshine Coast Council website via the link below.

ART SHOW RECAP

Guymer Bailey Brisbane came alive on Friday night when we once again opened our doors to clients, consultants, friends, family and the community for a night of Art. Paintings, sculptures and photography were proudly displayed by the staff who created them, along with the series of Kandinsky artworks that had been made the week prior in afternoon Art Class.

Over $1000 was raised on the night through the sale of entry and raffle tickets, donations made directly to our fundraising page and through the sale of donated artworks. All funds raised are donated directly to Hear and Say – a not-for-profit organisation that supports children with hearing loss to listen and speak so that they can attend regular school, have wider career choices and can more fully participate in their community.

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ART SHOW SPONSORS // our amazing sponsors who made Friday night possible.

Prize donations from -
Medusa Hair Studio
Kingspan
Allegion
BONDOR
LIGHT AND DESIGN GROUP
Sassi at Toowong
MJS Floorcoverings
Enware Australia Pty Ltd
ALAN INNES

And to those who donated directly to our Everyday Hero page for Hear and Say -
Greg Killen – Greg Killen Consulting Engineers
Cameron Gorrie – Building Certifiers Australia
Greg Hamilton – Hdesign
Nerada Spellacy – Guymer Bailey Architects
Suzanne Goodson – Guymer Bailey Architects
Chris Collins – Taking Shape, Toowong

ROB WADDELL TO PRESENT AT QLD AWARDS SHOWCASE

Guymer Bailey's Principal Landscape Architect, Rob Waddell will be presenting at the AILA QLD awards showcase this Thursday!

Hear from Rob Waddell, Guymer Bailey Landscape on the details of the project: Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at the upcoming Awards Showcase on Thursday 3 August in Brisbane. Register online at www.aila.org.au/qldevents 

The jury comments: the project represents a a highly successful collaboration between landscape architect and architect, where the outcome is a seamlessly integrated nature tourism facility. The Landscape Architect’s engagement with traditional owners shows respect to cultural and environmental values of the site. The landscape design greatly enhances the visitor experience to the site, unifying the building with the surrounding rainforest and is a worthy recipient of a Landscape Award.

The Awards Showcase will be held over breakfast and feature 3 award winners speaking on their projects.

GUYMER BAILEY LANDSCAPE WINS AILA QLD 2017 AWARD!

Last night, our Principal Landscape Architect, Rob Waddell, accepted the AILA Qld Tourism 2017 Award for the landscape design of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Discovery Centre at Maleny on behalf of the team! Well done to all who were involved! 

AILA Jury citation:

"Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve represents a highly successful collaboration between landscape architect and architect, where the outcome is a seamlessly integrated nature tourism facility. The Landscape Architect’s engagement with traditional owners shows respect to cultural and environmental values of the site. The landscape design greatly enhances the visitor experience to the site, unifying the building with the surrounding rainforest and is a worthy recipient of a Landscape Award".

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

The new Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) elevates tourism and education in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands. It nestles on the edge of the Reserve’s subtropical rainforest and overlooks exceptional Glasshouse Mountain views. The RDC includes a new café and discovery centre where visitors to can learn about the Reserve’s remnant rainforest in its living museum of diverse flora and fauna, even various endangered species.

The RDC’s integrated design captures the natural rainforest setting and the Glasshouse Mountains view-shed by intimately and visually displaying them. Visitors thus experience such environmental, cultural and scenic dimensions. The landscape design essentially connects the user to these dimensions, by blurring the line between inside and outside and reinforcing the Reserve’s character. The landscape experience is two-fold:

Glasshouse Mountains

•   The rainforest boardwalk reaches the rooftop viewing terrace, its large seating platform, and its vine-covered arbor forms inspired by the Glasshouse Mountain landscape.

•   The raised outdoor dining space of the new café offers an ideal vantage point to enjoy the uniqueness of the Glasshouse Mountains.

Rainforest

•   The landscape ‘situates’ the building in the rainforest. Basalt stone walls reach out from the building like buttresses to promote rainforest views.

•   The building’s influence on the natural environment is softened with screening and vegetation.

•   The rainforest boardwalk, courtyard spaces and meandering pathways allow visitors to ‘experience’ the Rainforest without having to access the walking tracks, particularly those with limited time or different ability.

  • Landscape spaces mimic the micro-environs of the Reserve to extend the habitat of the Reserve’s fauna.
  • The RDC’s landscape opens the Reserve’s walking tracks so visitors may ‘converse’ with the Rainforest.
  • The landscape design supports the interpretive function of the RDC, with signage and natural displays.

THE DESIGN APPROACH

The landscape design is intentionally adaptable which allowed modifications to cater for unforeseen natural obstructions that arose during construction (e.g., buttress tree roots or large woody vines). The layout thus incorporated easily manipulated natural patterns and organic forms. Such modifications also ensured significant vegetation was protected without compromising the overall landscape design intent.

This approach was also applied successfully to the rainforest boardwalk design including its landings supported by single columns. This boardwalk was re-routed on-site to avoid the structural root-zones of existing trees. The column footings were also vacuum-excavated to prevent damage to trees roots.

Designing the project meant thorough community consultation so that the views of the local community, previous management committees, and the Jinabara were fully considered. Design partners included a local architect, placemaking consultants, the indigenous community, and the client Council. Landscape, architecture and interpretation cohesively achieved a holistic design. This collaboration motivated the success of the project’s outcomes.

The RDC edifies visitors on the rainforest to ensure the natural assets are appreciated and respected. The landscape design also provides an undercover outdoor seating terrace where the Reserve’s volunteers can educate students and tourists. The landscape design equitably accommodates all demographics and abilities. The Centre fully complies with access requirements ensuring all visitors can experience both the Rainforest and mountain views.

The landscape design minimises adverse environmental impacts, promotes conservation, and enhances nature-based tourism by implementing the following sustainable outcomes:

•  Using only endemic plant species; many were grown from seed collected within the Reserve.

•   Providing habitat by reflecting the Reserve’s natural environs. The design incorporates important habitat plant species, such as the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vine, haven for the endangered butterfly.

•   No imported topsoil or mulch was used (i.e., no weeds and pathogens will follow).

•   Materials were sourced locally (e.g., concrete aggregate, stonework, timber) and/or site-salvaged (i.e., boulders and weathered logs). Timbers from existing building were repurposed as structural columns and screens.

•   The design team consulted the project arborist so that the existing cleared land footprint endured and existing vegetation altered minimally.

•   More than 200 reptiles and wildlife were relocated prior to construction. The existing man-made pond was retained because its critical habitat for the endangered ‘tusked frog’.

•   The stormwater-drainage design simulates natural systems to improve the site’s natural hydrology. Sustainable water management involved storage, bio-filtration and natural swales to direct flows.

NATURE-BASED TOURISM

Nature-based tourism is key to Queensland’s $23 billion tourism industry; the RDC’s redevelopment will greatly influence Sunshine Coast’s nature-based tourism by showcasing the Reserve’s natural beauty while preserving it for future generations.

The new facility is predicted to increase the Reserve’s 200,000 annual visitation. This will benefit Maleny’s local economy and tourism providers. The site-planning and landscape design emphasises the relationship between the cafe and the interpretive space. Revenues derived from such cross-patronage from donations, lease fees, and merchandise/educational product sales promises reinvestment to the Reserve.

The building of the RDC created 261 jobs during construction; 92% for locally-based, Sunshine Coast employees.

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre Officially Opens

After more than 3 years of collaboration, consultation, design, documentation and construction, the new Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre has officially opened! Guymer Bailey Architects and Guymer Bailey Landscape worked in collaboration with local Maleny designer Norman Richards; interpretative consultant, Focus Productions & Hutchinson Builders to create this wonderful tourism attraction and educational resource for Maleny and the Sunshine Coast. 

Eumundi Markets Terraces Upgrade - Construction Commences

Guymer Bailey Landscape is excited to see construction under way to upgrade the popular Eumundi Market Terraces. The project will enhance the aesthetics and function of this important community space, while safeguarding the site's significant vegetation, including the large heritage Fig trees. Watch this space!