Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Competition makes for excellence in Qld school architecture

News Image

Queensland is firming up its reputation as a hotbed of independent education, there is strong competition for students and that means parents are becoming very discerning about the schools they choose for their children.

Independent school enrolments in Queensland increased by nearly 2000, or 1.7%, from 2017 to 2018. This is the highest annual increase in recent years and nearly double the rate experienced from 2016 to 2017.

The competition has made everyone involved in building education facilities lift their game with nothing short of excellence being acceptable.

Burling Brown Architects Director Brian Kidd says “Design briefs have evolved so significantly over the years in response to the constant evolution and advancement of technology and the burgeoning nature of the Independent School System. 30 years ago, school fees and budgets were tight and as a consequence facility design were less elaborate.

“Where a simple shed once would have sufficed for an arts or sports facility, schools are now giving architects university style complex briefings, and the interior fitouts are now far more technical and complex in nature. There’s been a huge shift in expectations and specialised learning spaces and architectural features are in such high demand they are now driving enrolments particularly in the Independent and Private School sector.”

“Approximately one-third of school age children in Australia are enrolled in the independent and private school systems and this is increasing each year. The statistics are even higher on the Gold Coast and with six to eight schools within a 10 to 12km radius in some suburbs, there is incredible competition,” Kidd said.

“Private and Independent schools find themselves competing for enrolments and this free market is driving the demand for high end learning spaces now more than ever before.

“Parents are looking for far more from a school than its reputation, scholastic achievements or sporting programs. They are expecting schools to provide STEM facilities, senior learning centres, and multi-functional spaces with high quality finishes and full integration and overlay of 21st century technology.

“We will soon see virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting and drones as the norm, and schools are identifying the need to have facilities flexible enough to move and adapt to change,” he said.

“Coomera Anglican College is a prime example – the school provided a complex and innovative brief which inspired The Pod – a complete sensory learning space and is without doubt, one of Queensland’s most immersive new learning facilities.”

'The Pod' saw an integrated and collaborative partnership between Coomera Anglican College, Burling Brown, and Gold Coast construction company Alder Constructions.

The facility features extraordinary shapes, curves and voids, showcasing a 360 degree amphitheatre for virtual and augmented reality learning. Features like writable walls, retractable AV and 3D printer cabinetry create a minimal yet futuristic design.

The collaboration won Alder Constructions the 2018 Master Builders Gold Coast Housing and Construction Award for education facilities valued up to $10 million.

A.B. Paterson College is another highly progressive school that spent years developing the concept for its $13 million state-of-the-art learning precinct. The College has also engaged Burling Brown and Alder Constructions to deliver the new facility at Arundel, which is currently under construction.


2 Dec 2019
Why teachers and kids should be moving, breathing and doing mindfulness activities throughout their day News Image

As we hurtle towards a new decade, how do we create classroom environments where nourished teachers nurture students to become capable, creative, critical thinkers while maintaining their mental health and wellbeing? Read More

2 Dec 2019 | SA
Be Active Challenge increases activity News Image

A total of $50,000 has been awarded to 50 schools recognised for their outstanding achievement in this year’s South Australian Premier’s be active Challenge.
Read More

2 Dec 2019 | National
Using indigenous contexts to teach the Australian curriculum: science News Image

Science teachers can access a complete suite of resources from Foundation to Year 10 to support them in integrating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority into Science subjects. Read More

1 Dec 2019 | National
Provide free school travel for struggling students News Image

Public transport isn’t cheap anymore, even with a concession it is $607 for a full-year student pass. Some families cannot afford a myki, let alone a lump-sum payment, which is currently the cheapest option. Read More

1 Dec 2019 | NSW
Second stop work for Catholic schools staff News Image

Employees at the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office (CSO) will engage in a second round of protected industrial action following further restructure announcements by the diocese this week. Read More