‘Innovative approach’ for school courtyard

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THE Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, the University of Canberra students and local ACT School, Torrens Primary, yesterday unveiled designs for a new play space to replace a characterless courtyard at Torrens Primary.

AILA CEO, Shahana McKenzie
AILA CEO, Shahana McKenzie

AILA CEO, Shahana McKenzie told those present at the unveiling, “Landscape architects are committed to designing and creating a better Australia and together we are determined to improve our environment and the health, economic and social fabric of our communities”.

Torrens Primary School principal, Sue Mueller, with UC students  Christopher Norris and Luke Duggan
Torrens Primary School principal, Sue Mueller, with UC students Christopher Norris and Luke Duggan

The designs were influenced by the ‘dream playgrounds’ of Torrens Primary students, and created by Landscape Architecture students Christopher and Luke Duggan, from UC, mentored by landscape architect and AILA president Mark Frisby.

“The kids came up with some really great ideas and we tried to include as many of them as we could – we did have to leave out the chocolate fountain though,” said Norris.

The new play space includes a timber stage, synthetic grass seats, reading, hangout and reflection zones, a ‘learning’ garden and an outdoor lunch area for the school community. Torrens Primary School principal, Sue Mueller, said the new space would contribute to the learning and wellbeing of current and future generations of students.

Joy Burch,  MLA
Joy Burch, MLA

It’s all part of a campaign by the more than 2,000-strong AILA is to change the planning, design and funding of outdoor spaces in schools, a responsibility largely left to school communities. ACT Minister for Education and Training, Joy Burch, was obviously impressed, praising the project for its ‘innovative approach’.

The Torrens Primary project will be used as a pilot program for a national parks initiative.

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