Architecture - Masters


The intergenerational living and learning campus in subtropical Florianópolis, Brazil aims to create an invigorated Azorean-Brazilian community experience, with focus on sharing of cultures, generations, and knowledge to a unified and innovative tomorrow. From ages young to old and from teaching to learning, the campus proposes a new model of society integration and community engagement and fulfilment. The proposal will bridge a community on the site of division, to create not only a community for its students and residents, but its families, neighbours and passers-though. By approaching life as a continuous stream of teaching and learning, integrating aged communities with educational facilities provide a community of collaboration and creation, giving new energy to the human experience.

project overview

design intent

The aim of the project is an intergenerational living and learning as a community focused on education and senior living. Exploration into the educational and senior living model aims to integrate the two functions through intentional use of shared space. The project also incorporates elements of cultural heritage, social inclusivity, environmental sustainability, healthy living and fulfilment.


The aim of the project is to stimulate intergenerational collaborative learning to unleash a distinctive intellectual experience and social energy for all ages. The design of each of the spaces are to be of a personal scale, replicating the tectonics of residential architecture at varying scales to empathise the safety and importance of the individual within the larger community. The model of care for the design of the project explores the principals behind the way the education and health services are structured and delivered.

Imagine schools that foster the kind of thinking that bridges the chasms of ethnicity, nationality, region, species, and time … Imagine schools that draw forth the very best from each child.

David W. Orr, 2014, 15


The learning and teaching process for both the school and senior community shall be focused on communication, collaboration, community, creativity and critical thinking, with an emphasis on responsibility, opportunity and unity. This also ties with the philosophy that everyone has something to teach and something to learn.

Good schools are the shared responsibility of many partners: school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers, families, community and faith-based organizations, cultural institutions, business leaders, and elected officials at all levels of government.

National League of Cities (NLC), Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, 2015, p.3


The project also brings the aim to ensure that everyone’s basic needs come first. The following is adapted from “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” The project aims to care for its users, by providing them with the means to ensure their needs are met, including programs with members in the greater community to address these requirements.

All we can know about the world she will step into is it will have challenges and opportunities beyond what we can imagine today, problems and possibilities that will demand creativity and ingenuity, responsibility and compassion.

Design, B.M., 2014, 6


– communication, collaboration, community, creativity and critical thinking, with an emphasis on responsibility, opportunity and unity
– community ownership, social inclusivity and promotion of active lifestyles

– health and sciences – technology and innovation
– culture and society – environment and sustainability
– vocational pathways

– Use by students from 8am to 3pm on weekdays
– Use of shared facilities by residents and neighbouring communities after 3pm on weekdays and on weekends.
– Activities for residents to participate in teaching and learning of nominated classes in the curriculum

– Security
o Passive surveillance
o Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)
o Management residence on site with security
– Community
o Open campus design with wide open space
o Production of items on site for community sale at weekend markets
o Communal use of specialised learning areas


o 4 streams of 28 for years 7-10 and 4 streams of 25 for years 11-12
o 648 students projected 7-12 across 24 streams
o Living accommodation for 75 senior residents with focus on homes designed for aging in place


Florianópolis is the capital of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. The island city mainly situated on Santa Catrina Island, stretches 53km-long. Florianópolis, referred by the locals as Floripa, is also known as the Magic Island (Ilha da Magia) because it ‘awakens the imagination of those who visit,’ (Florianopolis Convention, 2020).


The site is located between the city centre to the north-west via tunnel, the airport to the south via freeway and the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) to the north-east. The nearly flat site is located on re-claimed land and lies between the main freeway from north to south of the west of the island and the neighbourhood Saco Dos Limões.

Located on the coast of the Santa Catrina State between the latitude of 27.6 degrees south and 48.5 degrees west. Hence, Florianópolis is a subtropical climate with warm, humid summer and mild winters. The island experiences rainfall from 75mm to 130mm on average throughout the year, with warmer months seeing more rain (Meteoblue, 2020). The area also experiences an average of 15km/hr winds, predominately from the north as well as south.


The design features the colours, scale and architectural elements of the Portuguese colonial architecture see in Florianópolis. The design of the campus will feature the rich, vibrant colours brought by the Azorean people, and combine the scale of traditional Azorean buildings on the island with new construction techniques and local materials to bring continue the culture’s spirit with the functions of the campus.


~ like weaving baskets and fishing nets ~

The intergenerational learning campus will focus on inclusion and unity of these Azorean-Brazilian community members in Florianópolis with the wider region community. The focus on the school and aged care will be to celebrate the Azorean culture and life and pass it onwards, from the elders to younger members of the community and behind. The project aims to assist but not interrupt the cultural heritage, by providing a wider platform for cultural celebration and its continuation in the culture.


United in the conviction that environment is our children’s third teacher, we can begin anew a vital mission designing today’s schools for tomorrow’s world.

Design, B.M., 2014, 10
The masterplan is derived from the urban form, the strategic plan and site orientation and has a focus on the intertwine of the natural and built environment. The urban landscape of the project was derived through the implementation of Brazilian curves, creating winding walkways framing courtyards and flowing water from the site natural reservoir to intertwine with the urban forms. The water meanders through the site, passing under raised built forms, giving connection to the site’s locality to water as well as for water mitigation on the flooding site. The positive and negative spaces of the design interweave, creating a multitude of places for both teaching and living.
A community hub is positioned in the centre of the site, connecting the residential and school sectors. Physically, this hub acts as a thoroughfare, being a meeting point of food and culture. Metaphysically, the hub connects the young and old alike through its form that celebrates Brazilian architecture and culture while mimicking the landscape of the mountains to the sea in its design.

The east of the site houses clusters of school buildings, positioned to reflect the progression of the staging of the project, as well as a students journey progressing through the grades of the school. The clusters each home indoor and outdoor learning spaces, with focus on the importance of connection to the urban landscape.

The residential units are located to the west of the site and were rearranged in clusters like the education sector of the masterplan. Each cluster forms small communities to ensure that each residents’ sense of individuality is celebrated and nurtured. The unit are also positioned to locate all living areas towards the north, north-east or south east to maximise views, breezes and natural light. The residential units are tied together on both the ground plane and above with elevated platform on the second level of units. This ensures that all units had universal access by a lift as well as providing pockets public open space filled with community gardens and places of recline.
The natural environment is as important as the built environment, with spaces of community being the forefront of the campus. In reference to the curriculum, the campus will offer a variety of external teaching and learning spaces that coincide with themes of integration, collaboration and creation and the ability to share these aspects or creations with the internal and wider community. Hence, the proposal includes external spaces for:
• Farming, food growing, preparation and serving
• Manual arts and visual arts
• Music and performance

– In the long term, the project aims to reduce running costs by focusing on environmentally sustainable energy solutions as well as integrated agricultural systems.


The project is set to be staged in 6 stages, each corresponding with each new grade of students to enter the school, with stage 1 with grade 7. The first stage is set the agenda of the project by introducing the key urban areas and the science block to stimulate growth to the school and residences. Staging of the aged residences are also set in 6 equal stages made of clusters of units. The clusters of residences are to coincide with clusters of general learning areas and specialised spaces for each stage/year of the school.

– 6 stages over 6 years, coinciding with each new year level
– Stage one includes enticing spaces to encourage new members of the community.
– Community spaces will be further financially funded by initiatives to include the local community

stage 1 design

o Year 7 and science block – 4 science rooms, 2 general learning areas
o Administration and student services
o Flexible learning areas in student services
o Temporary computer lab in student services

– Balanced ratio of singles and doubles – 9 units
o 5 one bedroom, 2 (couple) + 3 (single)
o 4 two bedrooms, 1 (couple) + 2 (single assisted) + 1 manager unit

– Community hub with:
o Communal kitchen and café
o Casual meeting areas
o Library space with breakout areas

year 7 / science

The education priorities for the proposed school are designed around the project philosophies of community and culture. Hence, the education program is emphasised by the values of communication, collaboration, community, creativity and critical thinking, with an emphasis on responsibility, opportunity and unity. The program will also focus on developing 21st century skills, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, etc with both the students and the aged community.

• The learning spaces shall be designed for as many uses as possible
• Equitable design with the same experience as other users of the space
• Opportunity for two-way teaching with equalisation of power between teachers, students and aged residents taking part in the programs – philosophy that everyone has something to teach and something to learn
• Low scale spaces that feel safe and feel like home
• Direct connection with the sun, wind and rain
• Prominence of flexible learning spaces (see AAFIE – Australian Association of flexible Inclusive Education) with cross grade learning options for students at the bottom and the top of learning abilities
• Focus on smaller communities and better facilities

administration and student services

Smaller learning communities, manageable class sizes, and adequate facilities with up-to-date technology are key ingredients in any effort to raise student achievement.

National League of Cities (NLC), Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, 2015, p.4
The administration and student services is located at the front of the site, and directs parents and visitors through the campus through its formal forecourt and symmetrical design. The curves forms of its facades represent that of traditional Brazilian architecture, which further highlight its purpose.
The functions include staff offices and meeting rooms as well as flexible learning areas (FLAs) for students who struggle with traditional teaching and temporary computer labs which will be made into further flexible areas when the labs are relocated in future stages.

aged living

In conjunction with the shared facilities for integrational learning and living, senior living residences are also co-located on the site. The philosophies and priorities of the senior living sector of the campus greatly reflect those of the education priorities, with focus on community and culture. The values for the senior living community is that shared with the school of, communication, collaboration, community, creativity and critical thinking, with an emphasis on responsibility, opportunity and unity. Hence, it is integral that the residents of the senior living community participate in the intergenerational learning arrangements to provide meaning through continued teaching and learning, to increase self-worth, their sense of belonging, feelings of recognition and fulfilment in their later years of life.
• Living accommodation for 75 senior residents
• Balanced ratio of singles and doubles
• Focus on the marginalised Azorean elders with at least 30% of residents being from an Azorean culture at any time
• Community inclusive housing clusters within the larger campus to heighten sense of community
• Articulation of a healthy living philosophy for aging residents with the local community
• Focus on homes designed for aging in place
• Residences for additional care, either respite or palliative, located within the smaller community clusters to ensure their connection with their peers and close locality with their loved ones
• Areas of carers are to be integrated within the design of double units in later stages, to share services with multiple residents requiring care

community hub


The community hub is central to the masterplan, both in its form and its purpose. Integration with the campus community as well as the wider community is key to the project, with aims to turn the campus into a centre of community life. The focus to connect the project with its community aims for improved social connection, improved academic performance and higher future enrolments rates.

The Client for the project The House of the Azores of Santa Catarina (CASC) aims to utilise its connection with the community to integrate the Azorean community as an integral element of the scheme. Hence, the Client aims that at least 30% or higher of the students, staff or aged residents are members of the Azorean community. This aim is to bring forth a stronger connection with culture not only cross-generational between Azorean people, but also to strengthen the relationship with these people and Portuguese and other cultures of the community.

Research shows that greater family and community involvement can result in improved student academic performance, reduced dropout rates, and higher graduation and college enrolment rates. Efforts to turn schools into centers of community life can help engage parents and give surrounding neighborhoods a stake in public education.

National League of Cities (NLC), Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, 2015, p.4


Imagine schools powered entirely by sunlight that also purifies wastewater that irrigates gardens that grow food and teach biology. Imagine schools as incubators for a new generation of designers that will remake the human presence on Earth in ways that regenerate ecologies and create the foundation for a fair, decent, and prosperous post-carbon economy … Imagine a world made sustainable because we first taught every child to overcome hatred and fear and educated them to be ecologically competent.

David W. Orr, 2014, 15

Lauren Job

Lauren's passion in architecture began at the age of eight and she has since brought this passion for designing to life in her studying and professional life over the past few years. She believes that architecture is collectively personal; all that interact with it will knowingly or subconsciously acquire a positive influence from its success. Architecture is not only about the physical – it is the metaphysical to its user and its relationship with the environment that determines successful architecture. She believes that architecture should have the ability to reflect, respond and transform its physical and functional counterparts for not only the user, but for its environmental context. In turn, she utilises this approach in a aim to create meaningful spaces that combine practicality and sustainability today and in the future.