Environment as 3rd Teacher

The concept of Environment as the 3rd Teacher is seen through many aspects of the design.

Shade Structure Plan

By utilising the notion of the fallen leaf litter from the Eucalypts that surround the Kinder, this in conjunction with light play through a thin leaf, led to the shape of the shade structures throughout the site. These leaves are also used to link the different built elements within the Kinder, and are a source of visual cues used as wayfinding devices by the children in the Kinder.



At the site, I noticed a fallen tree, I asked a caretaker and was told that because the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was a sanctuary the footpaths would be redirected around the tree. Eventually the tree would be removed and the timber would be reused for other things within the park e.g. garden edging. This notion of sanctuary and reuse was a key idea throughout the design.

Masterplan with Labels

All trees that were needed to be moved for the remodelling of the carpark, were transplanted into the vegetative area at the entry of the Kinder to create a sense of journey, wonder and also create a noise buffer.

Siteplan with Labels

The land that was removed to flatten the area for the Kinder & the playspaces was reused into the external Rammed Earth wall, this wall also provided thermal loading. The external fence is comprised of timber branches, with a grass grown over the top, this reinforces the notion of reuse and sustainability through the building materials.

Each room within the Kinder utilises Passive Cooling methods through glass louvres in the ceiling, to release hot air and introduce cool air without disturbing the Learning Spaces. As Brisbane is a warm climate, there is a mechanical shade screen that can be operated during the peak heat times of midday. The amount of times that this would need to be used in all area’s are minimal as a result of the treatment of the glass, the wooden timber beams in the roof and the amount of surrounding vegetation.

By introducing the children to different forms of the process of food production, this can be a learning activity that can help to shape their future view on food & sustainability. By utilising aquaponics, this creates a raised sheltered vegetable patch directly in sight of the kitchen & display kitchen (linking the experience of cooking with growth).  The children are also visually attracted to the notion of fish & these fish can be seen as class pets.

While there are a number of different plants that are successful grown from seed, there are also a number of plants that are successful in the scenario of aquaponics that are grown from scraps, that will be grown in this vegetable patch.

– Spring Onions

– Leeks

– Fennel

– Lemongrass

 – Ginger

– Potatoes

– Celery

– Bok Choy

– Onions

– Garlic

– Pineapple

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