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This project will facilitate the development of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Moreton Bay Campus, which is the first university to be developed in the Moreton Bay area.
Sitting on 460 hectares of what was previously State-Government-owned land, this project will create significant cultural, sporting, recreational and environmental community-owned facilities that the region can be proud of.
The Mill at Moreton Bay PDA was developed in response to statistics that reveal that Moreton Bay is the most educationally disadvantaged area in the country, with a higher than national average drop-out rate in tertiary education, and half the national average participation rates.
Prior to the development of USC, 90% of students in the Moreton Bay area were required to travel up to 3 hours a day for tertiary education, which was said to have contributed greatly to the low education rates of the area. The Mill is centrally located in the Greater Moreton Bay Region with convenient rail and motorway access, and includes a university for up to 20,000 students, as well as healthcare, residential and supporting infrastructure.
02LA collaborated with principle consultant, Advisian for the landscaping of this new urban centre, where they were committed to creating a ‘high-amenity’ urban streetscape that creates an inviting public realm for the community and visitors to gather, celebrate and journey through’.
Key elements include the enhanced streetscape treatments to signify ‘arrival’ at the centre, as well consciously creating a functional arrangement of footways throughout the area. The team ensured to accommodate unobstructed pedestrian circulation and access to car parking, lighting, street furniture, rest spots, street trees and mass planting beds.
Nader Ibrahim, Director at 02LA, says ‘It was imperative that the design set the benchmark while being flexible in its function to provide for new users, a growing regional community and evolving values and technologies.’
Nader and his team opted for high-quality materials such as segmental pavements to ensure a robust and long-lasting asset for Moreton Bay Regional Council, whilst also providing a high-amenity and attractive setting for the new urban centre and prospective tenants.
UrbanStone pavers were used throughout the landscaping in this project, chosen for their structural integrity that is ideal for high-traffic areas, ensuring they will remain looking brand-new in years to come.
A selection of different sizes and finishes of UrbanStone pavers were used to help differentiate spaces within the streetscape. For unobstructed pedestrian thoroughfare, large format UrbanStone pavers in a Milled finish were applied in a Stretched Bond pattern. Medium format UrbanStone pavers in a Milled finish were used for the University’s pedestrian spine, and small format UrbanStone pavers in a Honed & Shot blast finish were used for respite areas, applied in a stack-bond pattern.
The materials used throughout the landscaping also reference the historical context of the site, as Nader explains. ‘The materiality and ‘fine-grain’ details reference Petrie Mill’s history through the modern integration of brick-paving, and ‘riverine’ context through detailed selection of ‘warm-toned’ aggregates,’ he says.
Another critical element in the landscaping of The Mill is the idea of ‘shade amenity’ and ‘green’ canopy, which is particularly important for urban centres in Queensland. It was an afforded priority within The Mill to ensure healthy, thriving canopy trees that can be enjoyed both now and in the future.
This was enabled by providing the optimum conditions for trees, including the provision of continuous soil trenches which maximise the root volume and quality of soil. ‘Larger canopied trees such as Brush Box also serve to shade the roadways and off-set the built form,’ Nader says.
The Mill at Moreton Bay PDA is a stunning revitalisation of an area with huge potential for tourism and a growing population. As Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier of Queensland, says, ‘This project is integral for creating jobs, driving economic growth and ensuring that the Moreton Bay community is somewhere where people can live, work and raise their families.’