Methodist Ladies' College
Banksia Peninsula near Bairnsdale, Victoria
$ 4.0 million
FMSA was engaged by Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) to develop a masterplan and architectural design to connect their two existing Pelican and Wurabinda camps into one outdoor education campus. The resulting Banksia Outdoor Education Campus occupies eight hectares in the rural setting of Banksia Peninsula providing an outdoor learning experience for students from Years 5 to 8. Designed to deliver MLC’s Education Outdoors program, the campus allows students to gain an understanding of one’s surroundings and the environmental impact of humans.
The buildings can be broadly divided into three categories: teaching and common spaces, equipment storage and washing amenities plus accommodation spaces for staff and students. The buildings can be broadly divided into three categories: teaching and common spaces, equipment storage and washing amenities plus accommodation spaces for staff and students.
FMSA developed a campus master plan to unify the existing facilities into one cohesive campus which included the upgrade of existing small buildings, replace dilapidated ones and relocate structures, where appropriate, within the constraints of the landscape.
The buildings have been designed to connect the students with the rural environment as a real experience and are designed to blend with the landscape. Being a remote site, the materials selected are deliberately modest. Elements are also used as teaching aids, demonstrating passive solar principles and educating students on the importance of limited resources such as water and energy.
Through the plan, independent locations defined by style of accommodation and setting will enable year 5-8 students to experience the environment and living in a shared community. The managed environmental approach is designed to develop respect for the fragile flora and produce buildings that exhibit sustainable performance characteristics.
New and upgraded facilities include the Boole Poole Lodge, drying room and gear storage, amenities blocks, student accommodation units, and outdoor gathering places.
Boole Poole Lodge, the focus of the camp, has been upgraded with a larger, north-oriented dining room and awnings constructed adjacent to a new entry courtyard to create an outdoor ‘room’ extending from the living area.
Other upgrades enhance the central learning and dining building, accommodation huts with new porches providing much-needed storage space and a transition between the indoors and outdoors. Special features are designed to reveal a different experience for each year’s students. Water collection tanks and a new septic system that uses wastewater treated on site; assist the efficient running of the site.
The MLC Banksia Peninsula project demonstrates our ability to create a responsive design within the confines of a specific site for buildings that most suitably reflect the particular educational, environmental and social values of the young students who spend time at this outdoor camp.
The managed environmental approach is designed to develop students' respect for the fragile flora and an appreciation of sustainable principles and materials while living in a shared community.