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Cairnsfoot School for Additional Needs

Consideration of all needs, big and small

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Learning through play is an integral part of a child’s development and particularly for the development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

NBRS was appointed to deliver design works for the relocation of the Cairnsfoot School for Additional Needs to a new site in Brighton-Le-Sands. In this, the architecture and landscape studios collaborated to ensure careful consideration for the specific needs and preferences of the students.

The design concept for the school provided an environment which intersects shelter & challenge; ‘shelter’ being at the heart of human need for safety and ‘challenge’ being key to a child’s development. By integrating these ideas into play, students will develop confidence and skills to reach their full potential.

For this purpose, an exciting and elegant landscape design was developed, offering safe but challenging outdoor play in the achievable balance equipment, bike track, trampoline and stimulating ground plane modulation.

A holistic approach where built forms intersect with the natural and outdoor forms, accompanied by soft transitions between spaces, lead to a safe and comfortable learning environment. Planning of the site allowed arrival and pedestrian flow to be centralised and supervised with easily accessible shared facilities. A large roof forms to reinforce the central idea of shelter and creates an all-weather outdoor learning environment.

The addition of new facilities for the school such as a hydrotherapy pool suitable for a variety of different student needs represented a significant step in improving the features and services that the school offers. The result is an exciting and elegant masterplan, suited to the social, environmental and ongoing maintenance areas of the project.

ArchitectureDiscipline
EducationSector
Brighton-le-Sands, NSWLocation
CompleteStatus
NSW Department of EducationClient
$25mBudget
Discipline
Architecture
Sector
Education
Location
Brighton-le-Sands, NSW
Status
Complete
Client
NSW Department of Education
Budget
$25m

Soft, curved forms around the outdoor play areas

Shelter and Challenge

‘shelter’ being at the heart of human need for safety and ‘challenge’ being key to a child’s development.

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
Winner: Health and Education Landscape Award
2020
KidSafe National Playspace Design Awards
Commended: High School (2B)
2020
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
Winner: Health and Education Landscape Award 2020
KidSafe National Playspace Design Awards
Commended: High School (2B) 2020
Andrew Duffin
Director - Design
Andrew Leuchars
Director, Principal - Landscape Architecture
Ewan Saunders
Associate, Education
John Vasco
Associate, Community
Andrew Duffin
Director - Design
Andrew Leuchars
Director, Principal - Landscape Architecture
Ewan Saunders
Associate, Education
John Vasco
Associate, Community

Reach out to discuss creating spaces that suit all abilities.

Andrew Duffin

“Beauty in architecture is a beautiful mix of art and science. Fundamentally it is all about people and shelter.”