Our team was engaged by Hawthorn Primary School and the associated parents committee in mid 2017 to lead the preparation of a campus masterplan, as part of an attempt to manage the dilemmas of a growing school population, ageing infrastructure and the management of new land acquired in 2016.
The project brief was to create a clear, long term vision for the school environment and to provide a framework for the siting of new buildings, play spaces, sports facilities and infrastructure which can be used as a guiding document for ongoing investment in the campus.
The site is steeply sloping and elevated and features stunning views across the Yarra River and the CBD. The old Heritage listed school building, one of Melbourne’s best examples is located at the centre of the site. The project was a unique opportunity for a team of Landscape Architects to undertake a landscape based assessment of the site to identify site grading opportunities, important views, activity nodes, use, circulation patterns and connections as a basis for the development of a strong, bold design response.
The proposed masterplan challenged the site levels to propose the strategic location of new buildings, the expansion of the existing sports field and the introduction of a strong entry avenue to take advantage of existing trees and key views. The bulk of the acquired land is preserved as highly valued and much needed additional play space, taking advantage of existing trees and the interface with an adjoining Council owned pedestrian link. New steps and seating interventions create a new setting for outdoor learning facilities and resolve the considerable levels transitions across the site.