St Joesph's Primary School, Chealsea Planning under way

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The RB Landscape team have created an open space master plan for St Joesphs Catholic Primary School in Chelsea, with planning and construction to commence in early 2013. The community at St Joeseph's were interested in including an outdoor kitchen, produce garden, teaching space and passive play areas into their school. RB Landscapes developed three new passive play areas and a new outdoor kitchen space, to encourage student involvement with natural materials, self-sufficiency and sustainable practices in the outdoor environment.
The Outdoor Kitchen creates a teaching space, veggie garden and permaculture orchard that can be used by the school to give the students the opportunity enhance their skills to cultivate, cook and create into the future. The outdoor classroom space consists of a group table and cooking facilities including a wood fire oven, partially covered by a weather proof sail. The Adventure Playground is situated between 2 existing playgrounds, providing a space to encourage creative play. 

The Whirl Pool provides the centrepiece of the Adventure Playground. Water from the swale runs down a rill into its center, bubbling back up into the swale further down. It is surrounded by small clearings and secret spots which create a sense of adventure and investigation. The new sand pit is surrounded by the swale, creating an island effect only reachable by crossing the swale. The tree platform uses an existing tree to create spiral staircase up to a platform, from which children can climb down a rope net to the bottom again. The tree platform also creates a secret cave below to further explore. On the eastern fence a mounded banksia woodland creates a place for further investigation containing on its edges rammed earth seating spaces. 

The extensive Swale System is implemented along the side of the adventure playground and outdoor kitchen area. The swale will resemble a rocky creek bed, planted with native aquatic and semi-aquatic plants. Situated on an existing drainage line, it will collect the extensive run off from the school’s basketball courts and other impervious surfaces. The swale, with its native vegetation will operate as a natural grey water filtration system, reducing pollution to storm water, enhancing children’s connection with natural systems and self-sufficiency. 

The Willow Garden contains a sandpit, woodland and amphitheatre area. The amphitheatre, made from rendered hay bales, is situated outside the library, providing the opportunity for outdoor reading classes in the warmer months. A lawn mound and Ironbark shade trees cut the space off from the busy surrounding roads. The willow myrtle woodland is a canopy of densely planted Willow Myrtles which provide a forested grove in which to run through and sit under. An organic shaped sand pit creates another opportunity for sand play with a board walk running along one side of its length. The boardwalk delineates the major access path through the site, while also creating a seat for children using the sand pit. 

The existing Lawn Play Space will be maintained and its edge to the car park planted with native grasses. The high existing fences provides an opportunity to plant climbers space shade and screening. New rebound walls will be incorporated into the boundary fence, creating additional play values. RB Landscapes have delivered a comprehensive and functional design to enhance the St Joesph’s open space and furthering students opportunities to learn, live and play sustainably. We can't wait to turn our concept into reality!

For more information, contact:

Richard Bellemo
Landscape Design & Construction

M: 0408 032 947     


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