East Doncaster Secondary College Landscape Plan

This landscape design was for a large quadrangle at East Doncaster Secondary College.  Consultation with the principal, facilities manager and students revealed that they wanted to liven up the space and  for it to become more functional and attractive, while maintaining the huge flow of pedestrian traffic that comes across on various angles during the school day.  

It was a very large space that needed to be divided to be comfortable; however we needed to be very conscious of the tendency of people to take the shortest route to their destination.  This seems to be particularly important with teenage students who tend to take the most direct path, even if it’s an obstacle course. So we started with a traffic flow plan to work out where we could install active areas, gathering spaces and planted areas, without shortcuts causing alterations or damage to plants and hardscape installations.  Other significant limitations were the patched up surface due to past drainage issues which had since been fixed successfully but not attractively and many service pit lids within the space. There was a resistance on our part to introduce a level change which we felt would cause problems with both comfort and aesthetics.

The resulting installation is truly spectacular, transforming a bleak, patched up and quite barren area into a lively, green and sought after space which the students dwell in and take care of.  The surface is a combination of synthetic turf, existing concrete and wet pour rubber system, all on one level. The spaces include four square courts, a new undercover area for outdoor gathering in poor weather, socially laid out L and U shaped seating with raised concrete planters that include shade trees, curved seats and platforms with more raised planters and trees, and direct pedestrian travel that is artfully highlighted with ground surface colours.  A very successful installation.

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