Masterplanning. Making the connection between buildings, social settings and their surrounding environments

Featured image: St Clare’s Primary School. VIEW PROJECT

Master planning is one of the services we offer and an essential tool for our clients…

The master plan is a dynamic long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development.

The document is created to make a connection between buildings, social settings, and their surrounding environments by analysing the site aspects including weather, levels and transitions, indigenous importance and heritage implications. Allowing for the predicted growth/demand, existing use and suitability of existing structure, and social and economic conditions. 

Some projects that we have administered have begun with a greenfield site. i.e. no existing structures. For e.g. Ozcare’s Aged Care Facility and Retirement village in Hervey Bay as well as St Clare’s Primary School in Yarrabilba. 

Featured images:
Image: St Clare’s Primary School – Site analysis and Functional relationships

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Site Analysis

The Master plan for the new St Clare’s Primary School started with site analysis, including prevailing breezes, distant views, site access, conservation zones and an understanding of history of the land in respect of the traditional owners. 

At the core of the planning of St Clare’s is the central community gathering / Sacred Space representing the campus heart around which are located the smaller “communities” (Learning Clusters). The functional relationship between these buildings informed the procession through the site. 

The gathering / Sacred Space is intended to be visible from all rooms within the Learning Clusters to reinforce the sense of community reflecting the indigenous heritage of the area. The communal gathering space is encircled by a pedestrian spine which is crucial to the community’s connectivity.

St Clare’s Primary School has been planned to be completed over 4 stages as the school enrolments increase.

Featured images:
Images: St Clare’s Primary School – Conceptual layouts and Developed master plan

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Not all projects start with a master plan document…

Not all projects start with a master plan document that can be drawn upon as each stage is developed. Many established facilities have had haphazard construction over many years due to demand for structure, often resulting in different building levels and difficulty in access, a lack of cohesiveness and connection. But, we are driven to uncovering the true problems and solving them with an open mind, high level of experience and a willingness to provide the absolute best solution possible. 

Creating a new master plan document for existing developments provides a framework for future projects to create a considered operational site, to mitigate any issues or add to the haphazardness of existing facilities. It is rewarding to come up with a strategy to resolve issues on an existing site and provide our clients much comfort in moving forward. 

Some of more recent projects where initial engagement at a well-established facility, has resulted in us working on master plans for staged developments include St Joseph’s Primary School at Kangaroo Point, Our Lady of Lourdes in Sunnybank, St Joachim’s in Holland Park, St Oliver Plunkett in Cannon Hill, St Joseph’s Tobruk Memorial School in Beenleigh and Ozcare’s Retirement Village in Currimundi.

Our original engagement at St Joseph’s Primary School at Kangaroo Point was for additional classrooms to satisfy their increasing enrolments however after initial site analysis we could see that a whole school master plan would solve many other issues on site. 

A living master plan was developed based on the school’s strategic plan and intensive consultation with the school and the community as we reviewed their existing facilities and explored some under-utilised opportunities to better connect the campus, upgrade the school’s accessibility, improve the street appeal, and provide activated, welcoming external spaces for sport, play, gathering, and connecting with the community. 

An investigation of possible construction sites determined the existing rundown tennis courts as the most financially viable option for the new classrooms that allowed for a minimal footprint whilst respecting the heritage value of the site. The new classroom building with undercoft transformed the Tennis Court from an exposed paved play space, with little or no shading at times, into an accessible, open and inviting multi – purpose space which provided a much-needed outdoor area for sporting activities and arts based events to reinforce the schools identity as well as a space that is used throughout the day for teaching and learning as well as playtime. Connecting to the oval area via an amphitheatre.

Featured images:
Images: St Joseph’s Primary School – BEFORE & AFTER (“after” images supplied by Tomkins Commercial)

The finished stage 1 of the master plan provided a much needed Modern and fresh looking space at the entry to the school making it safer, PWD accessible and inviting. 

Featured images:
Images: St Joseph’s Primary School – BEFORE & AFTER (“after” images supplied by Tomkins Commercial)

Stage 2 of the master plan was the new Administration building, additional classrooms, a new amenity block completed in 2017. We are currently working with our client on stage 3 which is the internal refurbishments of the existing building (originally designed by Frank Cullen)