Context and materiality
There is a growing recognition of the importance in creating a sense of place for students – it can help strengthen their sense of belonging, develop their personal identity and inspire stewardship. The site of Riverview, with its open views to playing fields, bushland and plenty of natural light from the west, and city skyline views framing existing school buildings to the east, provides plenty of opportunity for the inclusion of biophilic design elements to connect the students with their natural surroundings.
Visually, students are strongly aware of their location with views across the axis of the site, from bushland to city. Previously not possible, these views have been achieved through Arcadia’s careful spatial orientation and level management, with the design ensuring the whole site is being used to its full potential.
A stronger connection to the surrounding national park is achieved through the clever use of materials and levels to create a ‘one of a kind’ landscape experience that is drawn from the school’s philosophies and locally sourced resources. A variety of robust materials, including concrete, hardwood timber, and natural stone, make up a cohesive palette that will maintain their desired appearance throughout time, so landscape features will be readily available in the years to come.