Landscape Architecture for Education Facilities

Grounds for education facilities should be a great place to gather, relax, play and learn whilst protecting children with clear sight lines and good surveillance.

Landscape Plays an Important Role in Education

The grounds of any school or childcare facility are areas to provide learning opportunities that can address needs of students from a range of perspectives.

Excellent surveillance for administration personnel, shade, ease of maintenance and robust plantings are desired landscape design principles for schools.

Needs of Students

School grounds should be environments that address the needs of students from a range of perspectives. Student’s needs may include:

  • outdoor learning;
  • physical challenges;
  • a sense of inclusion;
  • a sense of ownership.

The landscape environment should also:

  • provide a safe place to be;
  • provide equitable access to all areas;
  • allow multiple use areas for a variety of activities;
  • provide passive and active recreation opportunities.

Achieving these outcomes should be a priority for any masterplan when designing a new school.

Simple grassed areas or plain open concrete spaces with no other elements are no longer good enough. Students need spaces that encourage interaction and connection to landscape.

Providing high quality outdoor experiences for students ensures they are receiving the very best opportunities to develop and grow. Particularly in younger primary aged children.

Landscape Design Principles

The Queensland Government identifies four key principles which underpin the landscape design requirements for school grounds. These are:

  • inclusiveness;
  • context and character;
  • the natural environment;
  • and flexibility and change.

Establishing appropriate landscape design principles at the outset of the project will assist in delivering a cohesive landscape design.

Specifics of the principles listed above include:

  • the existing environment, site location, topography and existing landscape elements;
  • landscape character;
  • sense of place and ownership;
  • cultural backgrounds of students;
  • shade, colour and spatial arrangements;
  • overland flow and storm-water requirements for large areas such as sporting fields.

School grounds often have a range of uses and therefore need to be flexible and accommodate various community groups.

A priority for the landscape of any educational facility is to provide an environment for learning and appreciation of the outdoors. This will assist in ensuring consistent and high performance outcomes from students.

Citicene have been involved in numerous Schools, Education facilities and Child Care Centres including the following:

  • Serviceton State High School
  • Durack State High School
  • Yeronga State High School
  • Richlands State High School
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