Amberley State School

Location: Yamanto, Australia
Client: Department of Education and Training
Status: Completed 2006
Flagstone State Community College was the result of a need to educate a rapidly growing population in the Beaudesert Shire, south-west of Brisbane. The initial design brief from the Department of Education Training (DET) required a multi stage master plan for a series of interconnected buildings to accommodate 1100 students. The appointed project Stakeholders had a strong vision to provide a new direction in public schooling by providing increased levels of flexible learning through space creation. This ambitious approach strongly influenced JCA’s architectural philosophy in providing a more captivating and inspiring architecture that would represent a more sophisticated approach to learning, bridging the link from secondary to tertiary education. Traditional functional planning concepts were challenged during the consultation process allowing the development of small micro communities. These precincts separate the middle and senior schools, whilst maintaining direct contact through shared ancillary buildings, which act as the spiritual heart of the campus where all students intermingle. Within each of these precincts a number of learning and meeting zones have been formed through the deliberate use of both the architecture and landscaping. This was an important development allowing spaces to be adopted by students as they progress through the years - this was considered essential in allowing students to grow and develop. The use of various materials which differ in form, texture, lustre and colour creates a built environment which is unique to both the local community and existing schools generally. Standard materials have been used in non-conventional ways and non-standard materials have been incorporated to encourage a trend from the more structured school solutions previously adopted. This process of ‘re-creating’ the learning environment to accommodate changing perceptions in teaching, motivated JCA to move away from regimented concepts and towards a freedom only previously experienced in university architecture. This blurring of the transition from secondary to tertiary education through the built environment reinforces the client’s pursuit to instil attitudes towards lifelong learning in students.




Photography: Paul Chrismas