Marnebek School Sensory Courtyard – Winner of AILA Small Projects Award 2017

Most of us take our senses for granted. Our ability to perceive the world, to move through space, to understand even our own shape and form, to interact with the physical world and to engage with and communicate with others relies entirely on our eight senses. Some children have difficulty processing sensory information and this has a profound impact on their physical and intellectual development. We were therefore especially proud to win the AILA Small Projects Award 2017 for the design of the Marnebek School Sensory courtyard which invites children with a range of intellectual disabilities to voluntarily engage in an outdoor space that makes therapy joyful and fun. Felicity Brown, senior LA with Jeavons Landscape Architects, collaborated closely with therapists to design purposeful features that invite communication between children, who now voluntarily engage with outdoor activities that in the past have seemed daunting and even painful. Happy, smiling faces show the benefit of thoughtful design that is not only fun and playful but helps these children achieve major milestones towards independence in life. We thank the wonderful staff at Marnebek School in Cranbourne and the children who from whom we learn so much. Thank you to Ken Arnott from Arcadia Landscapes (landscape construction) James Cattell and Dorelle Davidson (Honeyweather and Speight artists) Herbert Jercher from HAPI- (sound artist), Geoff Nixon (engineers) and Andrew Lloyd (photography).