St Joseph’s Primary School Nambour is a Catholic co-educational primary school located on a two hectare hillside site on the edge of the town centre of Nambour.
A Master Plan was developed for the site in 2009 which aimed to build on the natural ‘layering’ of the site with formal substantial buildings at the top end of the site and a gradual loosening of that formality as the site transitions through a series of platforms down the hillside. The site now reflects this concept with more formal arrangements at the top of the site gradually becoming softer and more fluid and finally arriving at individual classroom pavilions in a naturalistic setting between existing stands of large trees at the lower end of the site.
The significance of this layering is expressed in a number of ideas:
Firstly, the arrangement of the Master Plan allows the site and students to ‘grow-up’. By locating the youngest students in the most natural setting and gradually allowing them to ‘grow-up’ into the more formal and solid areas of the site as they advance towards completion of Primary School.
Secondly, the buildings and surrounding echo this sentiment. The light weight and natural buildings of the lower site blend within their tree filled setting providing a nurturing environment for the younger students. Progressing up the site, the buildings become more solid, refined and ordered and reflect the older students increasing knowledge and developing abilities.
The navigation and circulation systems also pick up on this hierarchy of layering. A terrace joins the parish, church and administration with the upper GLA’s. A Board Walk ending in steps and a lift provides a connecting way to the Library and piazza area outside the Hall, while another Board Walk through the trees provides the connections to the lower GLA’s.
Within this context, the new library and hall form a new central nucleus of the school. While still reflecting the layering of the site, the Library has become a distinctive and iconic building that reflects its significance as the central hub of learning within the school.