Back to school for top designers

Caloundra Christian College Junior Captain Will impresses LEA delegates with his robotic coding skills while they tour the award winning Primary Learning Centre.
  • Natalie Bush from McLellan Bush Architects addresses LEA delegates in the building she designed for Caloundra Christian College’s Primary Learning Centre.
  • Caloundra Christian College Principal VInce Wakefield addresses visiting members of Learning Environments Australasia.
  • Caloundra Christian College Junior Captain Will impresses LEA delegates with his robotic coding skills while they tour the award winning Primary Learning Centre.
  • Architects, designers, engineers, builders, educators and planners tour the Primary Learning Center of Caloundra Christian College seeing how outdoor playgrounds are connected to classroom buildings.

Caloundra Christian College (CalCC) was honoured to host of group of over 40 members of Learning Environments Australasia (LEA) as they inspected the award winning Primary Learning Centre this morning. The LEA delegates are mostly from Brisbane and include architects, designers, planners, educators and policy makers. 

The Primary Learning Centre is of great interest to the LEA as it has recently won numerous national and international awards. The outdoor play area won the 2020 Learning Environments Australasia Award in Category 7: Landscaping/Out- door Learning Area and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Qld 2020 Landscape Architecture Award for the category of Play Spaces. The building itself won Australian Institute of Architects’ 2020 Gabriel Poole Sunshine Coast Building of the Year in May and the Master Builders Queensland, Sunshine Coast Housing and Construction Award in 2019 for Educational Facilities up to $10 million. 

The facilities were designed by McLellan Bush Architects with Warana-based Greenedge Design Consultants. The architects and landscape designers worked closely with teachers to develop a space that flows seamlessly from indoor class- rooms to outdoor play and learning spaces. 

“The jury highly commends the strong consultation with staff and students in the creation of this seamlessly connected space,” said AILA Queensland Jury Chair Deb Robbins. 

The building features bright blocks of colour, asymmetrical lines and forms which break down traditional notions of classroom structure. The high ceilings and glass walls create a light, airy feeling while serving a practical purpose allowing teachers to easily keep an eye on students as they break into groups for play and learning in the classroom or common areas. 

Complementing the building are the surrounding playgrounds, which give students room to flourish as they explore natural textures like timber, stone, rope, sand and flowing water. The high decks, sky tunnels and rope climbs encourage students to challenge themselves and take risks while also feeling protected with safety mesh. There are opportunities for creativity with a performance stage and musical wall plus gardens for children to nurture. 

“The recent awards success is the icing-on-the-cake for our design of this unique play and learning space at Caloundra Christian College”, remarked Greg Thomas from Greenedge Design Consultants, “our design approach was inclusive with collaboration with teachers and students to identify the needs whilst value adding latest researched benefits such as risk perception.” 

Principal Vince Wakefield says: “We have now won four major awards for the amazing primary facility. We want our students to be confident risk takers while also feeling safe. This facility is like a second home to our students allowing them to be encouraged even challenged to be creative and daring. That’s what this space represents.” 

See for yourself with a virtual tour of Caloundra Christian College online or come see the college in person. Register your interest at or call (07) 5436 6777. 

Caloundra Christian College believe in quality education for all and have a scholarship on offer for students entering Year 7 and other selected secondary year levels in 2021. Call (07) 5436 6777 for more information and to see if your child could be eligible.