We are the landscape architects for the Lilydale Heights College Stage 1 refurbishment. The architects, Harrison and White, proposed a town square at the projects heart as a gathering space for play, formal and informal learning, to connect several disjointed buildings and to upgrade the central courtyard.
Our conceptual agenda was to expand the school’s sustainability agenda beyond environmental to include cultural and social sustainability and this drove our desire to collaborate with traditional owners. The idea was to apply the narrative of a Wurundjeri story to order the composition of the town square and to inform design decisions on the hard and soft landscaping.
Murrundindi, Wurundjeri Ngurungaeta head man of the Wurundjeri Clan, offered his family’s creation story and gave us permission to use it for the project. We codesigned the central paving feature with Murrundindi and a representative group of students, which embedded the creation story from beginning to end. Murrundindi provided the Woiwurrung words for key characters in the story which are sand blasted into the paving.