OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND IT'S LINKS TO SUSTAINABILITY
Nestled between the Bouddi National Park and the beautiful sweeping views of Brisbane Water, the Preschool's picturesque location lends itself naturally to a love and care of nature and the environment. Our children are lucky to play amongst the trees and to connect with local flora and fauna throughout their day. Pretty Beach Community Preschool has a very strong commitment to the environment and education for sustainability. The aim of education-for-sustainability is to promote a sense of responsibility, appreciation, empowerment, active involvement, investigation and social change.
To compliment our sustainability learnings, the Preschool has recently committed to the Bin Trim program via the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The program which now has more than 30,000 committed businesses, aims to divert 100,000 tonnes of waste from landfill. This is a great initiative which we're proud to be a part of.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE PRESCHOOL BUILDING
The building design is guided by its required functionality as a preschool, the desired experience of its future occupants, environmental sustainability, as well as its response to the site, bush surroundings, topography, the sun and the wind. The design intent was to create and nurture an appreciation of the natural environment by its transparency between the inside and outside, form and detail. The building is designed to blend into the hill to the east, bringing the trees and bush in, and framing bay views to the west and North West.
The book, “Where the Wild Things Are”, has been inspiration for the centre for both the inside and out; the facade will have native vines climbing to awnings, vertical timber elements like trees as well as several real gnarly tree trunks incorporated into the structure and articulated spaces, to connect it to the real bush beyond.
The design also functions as a mechanism to provide sustainable, energy-efficient comfort, in terms of natural ventilation, shading and exposure to sun in winter and summer, which is reflected in the very low roof line on the south and large glazing areas with deciduous shading devices on the north. The materials used have also been selected for their non-toxic, low embodied energy qualities.
The building has reused the footings, subfloor structure, floor material and some of the large timber double-hung windows from the previous house on site, as well as incorporating much of the recycled hardwood from demolition in the new construction. Some of the good quality solids (bricks) from demolition are being reused in the new preschool and others have been traded with locals in return for services such as refurbishing the old windows. Tree trunks have been salvaged from local rural properties. Rainwater harvesting and reuse as well as grid-connected solar panels will be installed.
The spatial qualities of the design employ progressive theories of best practice for child care centres around the world. A variety of dynamic spaces are separated not by walls but by changes in floor surface or ceiling levels and variations in natural light intensity. The design aims to offer children and staff stimulating and inspiring places for learning through discovery, play and adventure.
Architect of Pretty Beach Pre School