Cairns

A cairn is placed near or along a shore to be used to hold torches to signal ships and also inland to mark a trail or path that would otherwise be difficult to identify.

The correlation of the location of the school being close to the water and the way schools lead children on aspiring paths are both reasons behind these forms. Each pillar varies in size and no two are exactly alike – all representative of the students, staff and visitors of the school.

I felt it was important to introduce textures, forms and tactile elements to the students to awaken their consciousness to the unique beauty of their environment, history and culture. The shells are an important and subtle detail. As one moves along the space the shells appear in a childlike sense of discovery and invite you in for a tactile experience. These periwinkle shells were used as a food source by the indigenous people of the area, the Punnilerpanner people. The organic imprints are of native plants in the area. They include native cherry, manfern and local grasses collected in Port Sorell.

All pebbles have been sourced and collected at Port Sorell, Shearwater and the surrounding area. The subtle tones of orange pick up on the timber used throughout the building.

SITE: Port Sorell Primary School, Tasmania.
Thankyou to Samantha Abblit (Principal), Catherine Wolfhagen (Arts Tasmania) and Pete Norton (Gondwana Studios).

Image Credit: Photography by Mel De Ruyter