Living School is purposefully designed
Living School’s design is intentionally focused on a co-learning space in a city-centre. These plans highlight our focus is on maximising the space available but never compromising on learning intentions. We have taken a building and transformed it to be much more – which sits at the heart of our ‘living’ philosophy and focus on sustainability.
The building is designed to be one of the first ‘green’ buildings in Lismore, using natives to develop green space. The benefits of green space are well documented, and to have a building that embraces a natural environment evokes wonder and appreciation. The intention is for other buildings to adopt similar parameters.
The building is situated on three different lots. There is a residence and a former medical building. By conjoining these buildings, the flow is maximised and the building’s internal operations become so much more. It is a little like a ‘Tardis’, with the space inside opening up much more than you would expect from the external look. The railway carriage offers a uniqueness. All elements have been planned: acoustics, safety, learning spaces, cafe/canteen, parking, gardens.
There is a canteen/cafe, entry into a bamboo lined Daycare centre, called LivingKinder – see our website, and break-out spaces. Inside LivingKinder is our Tree of Life – a recycled grey gum that had been knocked over from our local farm. The intentional design in the LivingKinder area is focused on lighting – with the inclusion of a spectrum lighting system that changes mood. There is no wireless technology in the childcare centre. Our focus is on play-based learning.
The upper floor is where the school is situated – utilising different learning spaces to accommodate our adoption and adaptation of different learning/teaching philosophies: Harkness table in the Board Room; Wall of Wonder (a personal work plan for learning key academic concepts in English, Maths, Science and Technology; Incubator (a small wall-to-wall brainstorming tutorial space); Aquaponics setup, sound system and multimedia. The planning is aligned with the beliefs of Michael Spock, who states children need to see how a building functions – we don’t hide we explore!
Train of Thought
Extending off the rear of the upper floor is our unique ‘train of thought’, a repurposed 1928 ‘red rattler’ train carriage – elevated off the ground. This carriage was built in Australia at Walsh Island and allows our children to feel connected to the past.