SVSS – Amenities Block | pentArchi

The Samford Valley Steiner School Amenities Block is a demonstration that even a small project can make a big difference in shifting social socially perceptions which will enable greater sustainable goals and targets to be reached.

Providing the school campus with a typical composting amenities block was part of the sustainable design – Masterplan strategy by pentArchi for reducing water consumption and not exacerbating the existing onsite septic system which was already overloaded.

The school campus has no town water and relies on rain water harvesting with H2O stored in tanks for all the water usage of the school.
The findings of an audit on water consumption at the school campus established that WC flushing was one of the biggest single identified causes of water consumption.
Traditional WC’s not only waste a lot of water every day, additionally WC would have required relocation and provision for new onsite treatment plant with large effluent treatment area taking away precious play area for pupils.

The Steiner School is s a client who is willing to outlay the additional finance required, when it comes to specification and long-term vision of any design alternatives that offers sustainable solution.

Composting toilets eliminate the need for flush toilets, this significantly reducing water use and allows for the recycling of valuable plant nutrients to go back into the environment.

From an educational perspective, it was imperative decision for the school ethos to enhance public perception on waterless toilets.
In the past, composting WC’s may have been perceived socially to be old fashioned, ‘smelly’ and not appropriate for a school environment.
The design provides an excellent solution which facilitates pupils’ supervision, is easily cleaned and the chosen composting system is accessible and maintainable at low cost over a long period of times.

The design of the Samford Steiner School compost Amenities will increase sustainability in school campus and community at large in the following ways:

The waterless WC will drastically decrease the water consumption in the school which has no reticulated town water.
The waterless WC will not affect the existing on-site wastewater treatment infrastructure which is at maximum capacity.
The facility produces a dried usable by product top-soil like humus that does not need to be transported off site and when cured can be used as compost garden in beds and enrich topsoil.
The composting facility will make pupils aware of the efforts required for recycling including the constant monitoring of composting processes
Last and most importantly the high standard quality of the design will start to change the perception of pupils using waterless toilets and more importantly of taking responsibility of our own waste product.
Clever choice of materials and simple design reduced the total embodied carbon of the project and the overall energy consumption and water consumption is a fraction compared to similar conventional toilet blocks in other schools.

The Waterless amenities design was congruent with the underling sustainable principles of the school and thus provided appropriate solution.

Aidan’s Place | Blight Rayner Architecture

Aidan’s Place is a transformation of a previously dour and unwelcoming undercroft of an existing school building into what has become the fulcrum of social life on the St Aidan’s campus. It has been achieved by a combination of careful reduction and insertion of elements that enable multiple types of social interaction. In particular, the accentuation of the three dimensionality of the existing waffle ceiling and the extension of it in a series of abstract elements including skylights has dramatised and animated what had before been oppressive. The spaces are all naturally ventilated and openable, facilitating connectivity to the public street and into the campus, and welcoming wider community engagement.

CHAC Library Refurbishment | Reddog Architects in association with Blueline Architecture

Renovation of the Primary Library stemmed from the recognition of the need to update the library to better to cater to the changing needs of the primary school aged children.
The architectural narrative unfolds as the interior space was meticulously crafted to accommodate the diverse learning modalities of the children. A nuanced interplay of changes in levels and ceiling treatments not only defines the spatial configuration but also serves as a dynamic canvas for a variety of environments, fostering both quiet individual study and vibrant group gatherings. This intentional orchestration not only addresses functional needs but also speaks to the multifaceted nature of educational spaces.

The transition from interior to exterior spaces is a hallmark of the design, allowing children movement between inside and outside. Plywood as a primary material transcends utilitarian considerations; becoming a design element that interconnects bookshelves, seating, drawers, and ceiling panels.

Kaggarabah – Bushland Communal Hub | Deicke Richards

The Bushland Communal Hub is an important adjunct to our redevelopment of Kaggarabah, the former Joyce Wilding Hostel.

The site has served as a refuge for vulnerable First Nations women and children since the 1970s. The new development provides 33 residential units within a series of two storey buildings wrapped around a central landscaped courtyard.

The Bushland Communal Hub is located at the rear of the site and provides a setting for shared activities, meals, cultural ceremonies, or a space for reflection within the landscape.

The Bushland Communal Hub site is nestled directly adjacent to bushland and features large open spaces and smaller intimate spaces to provide flexible use of the space.

It was envisaged that the Bushland Communal Hub would encourage and assist First Nations residents to be deepen their connection to Country and to have access to the adjacent bushland.

Quincy’s Renovation | Base Architecture

In its original form, the Quincy’s building was once home to the local Commonwealth Bank. Witnessing many changes throughout its lifespan and playing host to a number of different commercial ventures, the building has developed to become a landmark within the social fabric of the suburb. When the post office tenancy became available in 2022 the pipedream of expanding Quincy’s became a sudden reality, and another journey of transformation began for the building.

The renovation and extension were undertaken on a strict budget and short timeframe, showing the richness and power of everyday materials when detailed conscientiously.

Shed for Propagation | Marc & Co

The clients love for gardening extends to propagation. The small triangular site was selected as a way of resolving a kink in the formal geometry of the Paul Bangay designed garden. The propagation shed becomes part of the system of hedges using a timber screen for planting, so it merges into the hedges. Inside a green marble is for garden work or a cup of tea. The shed goes beyond propagation to become a place of beauty, hope and joy.

The Leaf : A Garden Pavilion | Hollindale Mainwaring Architecture

In the middle of Brisbane suburbia The Leaf is a garden pavilion situated in the spectacular surrounds of an elegant heritage listed residence Eulalia.

Whilst respecting the historic functionality of the old house the client wanted a lifestyle taking advantage of the subtropical climate and garden by creating a contemporary outside living space. So as not to detract from the heritage value of the house the idea evolved as a separate structure for shade and weather shelter for outside living, relaxation and cooking particularly, whilst taking advantage of the ambience of subtle blend of the Australian and Asian inspired garden.

There is always the naive temptation to opt for a pastiche that copies and mimics the tectonics of the old house. The Leaf was conceived as invisible and visually quiet, relating to botanical context, respecting the integrity of the surrounds and view vistas from the verandas of the residence.

Unshackled! – a Convict Memorial | Circa Morris-Nunn Chua

This project is unique. The essence of the Convict Memorial has been to create a dramatic new memorial, a hanging four–sided 8m high tower of LED screens, which uses smart technologies to visualise the lives of 75,000 men, women and children transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1803 and 1853.

Designed as a place of reflection and interaction, this innovative project is underpinned by Australia’s largest historical dataset with the aim of ‘bringing to life’ the personal details of all the individuals who were ever transported as convicts to Tasmania. The project uses AI to digitally reunite Tasmania’s UNESCO Memory of the World registered convict archive with the Hobart Penitentiary in which those records were once housed, in the very space where male convicts were formerly housed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the very first time that anything of this nature has ever been attempted, anywhere.

The National Site of Recognition for Thalidomide Survivors and their Families | PLACE Laboratory with Gian Tonossi

The National Site of Recognition was established by the Australian Government to acknowledge the thalidomide tragedy and as a lasting reminder to all Australians that the lessons of the tragedy must never be forgotten. Thalidomide, introduced in the 1960s, had devastating consequences, causing severe birth defects.

The glass brick structure designed by PLACE Laboratory aims to create a space for empathy, emotional reflection, and education.

Symbolic gestures unfold a narrative as visitors move through the space, with features representing the fragility of life, the ripple effect of thalidomide, and survivors’ strength. Words etched into the walkway convey the impact, acknowledging trauma and loss. A historical timeline educates about the tragedy, while an archway through the structure frames a view of Lake Burley Griffith offering hope and a sense of fulfillment. The memorial provides a serene setting for reflection, emphasizing the ongoing impact of thalidomide on survivors and fostering awareness.


As the impacts of climate change are now felt in real time, the idea of sustainability in architecture is being questioned. TERROIR aim to challenge sustainability in Architecture through the concepts explored within their own office fit out in lutruwita / Hobart.

Occupying a space within an abandoned mid-century office fit out, the design is a cannibalisation and reappropriation of what was already there. This project is an experiment that challenges the paradox of ‘sustainable architecture’. This project may be small in size, but heralds a disproportionately large manifesto for a different sort of practice that is more and more urgent to embrace. Its lessons are already informing our practice’s larger projects in our quest to continue making places which support the interactions of people and place, but in a way that uses less resources than ever before.

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