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PROJECT UPDATE: Ohana College Design Takes Shape

Our design for Ohana College’s new campus is beginning to take shape!

Designed to be built in three stages, the new campus will ultimately consist of one large building that clusters learning areas around internal and external breakout areas and courtyards.

Ohana College is a co-educational secondary Special Assistance School located in Logan with an ethos centred around provision of safe, inclusive education and wellbeing programs that are tailored to students with diverse learning, psychological and physical needs.

Our extensive briefings and consultation with staff and teachers at Ohana have informed a new built environment designed for secondary school students who have disengaged from mainstream schooling. These discussions have resulted in spaces designed to provide maximum opportunities for withdrawal and finishes throughout are being carefully considered to minimise wear and tear, discourage vandalism, and provide visually and acoustically calming spaces.

Learning areas have been designed to provide students and staff flexibility in responding to each student’s needs. Learning areas will cater to small cohorts of 15 students each with direct connection to outdoor areas, withdrawal spaces and “cave-like” sensory rooms for emotionally heightened students who need respite from their peers or other stimulation.

Balancing the needs of supervision, privacy and minimising distractions and disruptions has been challenging, with the school opting for partially obscured (frosted) glazing used to separate learning, withdrawal and common area spaces. Common areas, including the dining room, aim to cater to a wide range of social preferences and emotional needs, including communal gathering spaces as well as places for individuals to retreat from others.

The new campus will also better facilitate the College’s strong welfare focus, accommodating the school’s many teaching and support staff including teacher aides, youth workers, psychologists, nurses, volunteers, and a full-time cook who serves three healthy meals per day.

Spaces throughout the campus have been designed to bring natural light in and connect to the outdoor areas in an effort to create calm, comfortable, non-threatening places to learn, gather, play, eat and socialise.

Stage 1 of Ohana College’s new campus will replace their existing facility and better meet the school’s unique pedagogical or operational requirements, and is due for completion in 2022 ready for the 2023 school year.

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