Woodfordia’s Learning and Development Retreat began by investing into the Educational Precinct's facilities. A location was chosen on the northern end of the site's western hill, it is slightly elevated from, yet close to the existing village. This location allows the building to soak up all environment, visual and northern benefits. The brief consists of large craft and construction workshops, a library and computer facilities, a hall for lectures and exhibitions, a hospitality and cooking school, plus covered outdoor gathering spaces among various amenities, classrooms and offices. The facilities' design is in keeping with the Queensland Folk Federation's stated visions and beliefs as it promotes sustainable living and building concepts.
A combination of wind direction studies, multiple stepped rooves and specifically placed openings allows cross ventilation to be achieved within all rooms. Sun path diagrams and simulated shadow mapping exercises enables shading and building overhangs to be placed accordingly, creating appropriate and naturally lit spaces for teachers and individuals. The Educational Precinct itself is designed to complement the site's contours and includes one continual ramped floor plate as the building follows the road up the hill, reducing its site impact.
The precinct is mostly constructed from locally-sourced and on-site timbers and glazing, the south-west exterior wall is built from block-work, with the ground floor and main structural columns being made of concrete. Individuals can access the building from three different entry points, staircases to the second level are located at both the north-west and south-east ends of the building. The design and orientation of the facilities opens up and out to the village and north-eastern views creating practical and pleasant spaces for all individuals, as the amenities are located south-western side of the building. The building does not contain a lift service, meaning a wheelchair-bound person will not be able to access the offices on the second floor, however ground is completely accessible.
The educational building has a 3 metre wide corridor and follows a grid system, meaning the main structural elements and sized are generic repeated throughout the building. This allows flexible options for any future additions or internal fitout work to be made with ease if so desired.
Sun Path Diagrams