Principle 4: Capture and frame views and create vistas
  • Last updated:
  • 27 Apr 2020

The distinct natural setting of the Sunshine Coast is stunning. Our communities are set with a natural backdrop of beautiful beaches, bays, coastal headlands, waterways and wetlands, mountain ranges, escarpments, forests and rainforests.

Views and vistas of this landscape range in scale from the dramatic and well known to the local and personal. The visibility of waterways and beaches, rainforest and bush provides a calming background to our daily lives.

These features connect people to place and to each other and contribute to our sense of community and collective identity. Capturing views of landforms, landscapes and water from our homes, offices, parks and streets is distinctive experience of Sunshine Coast communities.

Good design on the Sunshine Coast captures and embeds views and vistas within the built environment. These views contribute to the identity of the area. They strengthen a sense of location and connect people and communities. They put the attractiveness of the region on display and draw it into our homes and daily lives. These views provide an outward perspective that connect us to our community and to our natural landscape, ensuring we don't feel along.

Why this is important

Design that does not consider views and vistas erodes the natural context of a place. By not considering the visual relationship between neighbouring buildings, across rooftops, infrastructure and landscapes, we can lose the connection with our location. We could be anywhere. We could find it more difficult to locate ourselves, and we could feel isolated.

Ideas for working with this principle

Whatever scale you're working at–city, neighbourhood, street, park or building, here are some ideas for working with this principle.

1. Consider incorporating views to landscape features, significant strands of vegetation, trees, gardens, waterways and beaches to create a visual connection to the landscape.

2. Work sensitively with our key view corridors by aligning buildings, streets, landscapes and open spaces to protect the view.

3. Locate public spaces and facilities to have physical and visual access to views and vistas of landscapes and waterways in a way that benefits the wider community.

4. Consider the impact on significant views when planning buildings, structures, streets, and landscapes. Remember that the view of the building or landscape you are creating also has an impact on and could affect the neighbours, the wider community and place.

5. Avoid visual clutter that could negatively impact important views. Locate buildings, street signage, street furniture and infrastructure so they don't block or impede access to prominent views and vistas.

6. Locate significant buildings and cultural civic spaces in prominent locations to maximise views to and from these places, assist local wayfinding, and provide the community with landmarks.