Principle 6: Be inspired by the natural and built environment
  • Last updated:
  • 27 Apr 2020

Our local landscapes, our heritage and our climate have all contributed to the look and feel of the Sunshine Coast. The colours, textures, forms and variety of  its architecture and landscapes have inspired a place-based approach to design and material choices that reflect the distinctive characteristics of the Sunshine Coast.

A place-based design approach considers the natural and built environment to inspire form, layout, construction detailing and material choices to create places that reflect or respect the local context and promote a strong relationship with the outdoors - a character specific to this places.

Good design on the Sunshine Coast is inspired by the elements of built form that have served us in the past to create a strong sense of local identity. Design inspired by our natural environment helps integrate built form into coastal and hinterland settings. Each community becomes an identifiable places that collectively demonstrates the rich diversity characterising the Sunshine Coast.

Why this is important

Design that does not respond to our local landscapes, heritage and climate is likely to be at odds with the surrounds and risks undermining the look and feel of the region. Design that ignores our histories and cultures does not connect with us or tell our stories to the wider world or to future generations. Our identity can be diluted when our buildings resemble those that are seen everywhere else.

Ideas for working with this principle

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

1. Undertake a context and character study of the local area to establish a clear understanding of its built form history and setting.

2. Be inspired by the desirable local building traditions of an area and the natural environment to ensure development is carefully integrated into its local context.

3. Be inspired by the colours, textures, forms and plant species of the local area to ensure projects contribute to a strong sense of local identity.

4. Select tree and plant species and furniture for streets and parks that reinforce our distinctive sub-tropical character.